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Economic Development in Bahrain

13 October 2016

Bahrain has grown successfully over the past 10 years, due its liberal economic policies, and has a clear roadmap for improving the prosperity of all in society. the country’s capital, Manama is home to many large financial structures. in 2008, Bahrain was named the world’s fastest growing financial center by the City of London’s Global Financial Centers Index.

Looking to the future, the Economic Vision 2030 is a roadmap for making Bahrain a more sustainable, competitive and fair economy, with the aim of doubling household income by 2030.

The Economic Vision 2030, was launched in October 2008 by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, is a comprehensive economic vision for Bahrain, providing a clear direction for the continued development of the Kingdom’s economy and, at its heart, is a shared goal of building a better life for every Bahraini

The launch of the Vision followed four years of extensive discussions with a range of opinion leaders in the public and private sectors, including governmental institutions and specialized organizations, as well as international consultancies and bodies.

The Economic Vision 2030 focuses on shaping the vision of the government, society and the economy, based around three guiding principles; sustainability, fairness and competitiveness.

Following the launch, Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) initiated an on-going program of economic and institutional reform, as part of the Economic Vision 2030. The EDB led and coordinated with ministries to compile the first National Economic Strategy, which served as a roadmap to achieving the Vision.

The National Development Strategy is a regularly updated action-plan that will turn the Vision into reality, setting specific milestones in the public and private sectors including education and training, the economy, health and society.

The following sectors have been prioritized for development:

  • Financial Services
  • Professional & Industrial Services
  • Logistics
  • Education and Training
  • Manufacturing (Aluminum, Food & Beverage, Chemicals & Plastics)
  • ICT

Furthermore, Tamkeen, Bahrain’s national labor fund, is investing in improving Bahrainis’ skills through training programs, further enhancing both competitiveness and the prosperity of local people.

Bahrain has made great efforts to diversify its economy; its highly developed communication and transport facilities make Bahrain home to numerous multinational firms with business in the Gulf. As part of its diversification plans, Bahrain implemented a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US in August 2006, the first FTA between the US and a Gulf state.

Bahrain competes with Malaysia as a worldwide center for Islamic banking and continues to seek new natural gas supplies as feedstock to support its expanding petrochemical and aluminum industries.

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