Bahrain - the leading financial centre of the Arabian Gulf region – is set for a further boost with the signing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States.
The agreement also signals major growth in the Bahrain Islamic finance industry’s already substantial business in the US market.
While Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is vying to become the future regional financial hub, Bahrain is currently the leading centre for international conventional and Islamic financial institutions.
Analysts say the new Free Trade Agreement with the US will trigger the flow of foreign investment to the kingdom. Bahrain's business community views the development as endorsement of economic, political and democratic reforms.
The financial sector is the largest single employer in Bahrain. Commercial bank sector assets in Bahrain stand at more than US$100 billion
The volume of Bahrain-US trade surged to $1 billion in 2003 and is expected to grow further following the agreement. Around 40,000 new jobs have been predicted. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )