|WHY INVEST IN BAHRAIN ?
|If you are new or have never visited the Islands of Bahrain you may wonder what makes an investment in the Kingdom of Bahrain more attractive than other neighbouring Gulf
countries. We will try to explain some of the reasons Bahrain is considered the next big investment destination and in so doing try to answer some of your questions about
Bahrain offers a lifestyle that is cosmopolitan, safe, relaxed, and unsurpassed in the Arabian Gulf. From beach front villas to garden compounds and single bedroom flats, with
new developments such as the Amwaj Islands, Bahrain Financial Harbour, Bahrain Bay, the choices are wide and varied.
The United Nations Economic and social commission for West Asia stated that Bahrain has the fastest growing economy in the Arab world. The 2006 Index of Economic
freedom published by the Wall Street Journal, said that Bahrain has the freest economy in the Middle East, and 25th freest in the world!! Politically it is regarded as the most
liberal country in the Middle East, woman have full voting rites and are standing for election in the current parliamentary elections. Indigenous Christians and Jews are also
represented on the Shura council.
To encourage private sector investment, the government has instituted a series of industrial development and employment initiatives. These initiatives have been further
strengthened by legislation allowing 100% foreign ownership to onshore companies. The government has also maintained zero taxes on corporate and personal income.
These are a few reasons as to why to invest in Bahrain from the Bahrain government e website
No Tax for companies or individuals
Custom duties are low
Corporate friendly policies
Investor friendly legal system
Simplified Business procedures
Upcoming Banking and financial hub
Tremendous scope for growth and open market for opportunities
People are friendly and culture is conducive for business growth
Good infrastructure and government has also started initiatives to make it better
There is lot of freedom in Bahrain
Major port hub in the Middle East
Easy access to all Middle east markets
There is good law and order in the land
Flourishing entertainment and tourism industry
Good social life and variety of food
Introducing Corporate governance
Bahrain has easy access to an enormous regional market through an excellent road system and the causeway linking Bahrain with eastern Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain has become the international financial services capital of the Middle East. Most major Arab financial institutions have offices in Bahrain as do many international banks,
branches of foreign insurance companies and exempt companies trading offshore. The country is also an international and regional wholesale inter-bank money market, centred
on its offshore banking sector which was first established in 1975, currently with assets of over US$ 70 billion. The daily foreign exchange turnover of all Bahrain's financial
institutions is approximately US$4 billion.
A firm but flexible regulatory environment is directed by the Central Bank of Bahrain. The Bahraini dinar is a freely convertible and stable currency, firmly linked to the US dollar.
This environment has seen the development of a successful stock exchange. Servicing the financial and business sectors is a digital telecommunication system as advanced as
any in the world. Services include exclusive private channels, access to international data bases and the Internet plus specially developed communication systems for bank
Bahrain is a key player in world financial and banking services. Its strategic location between east and west and its advanced digital telecommunications systems enable it to
communicate with all financial and business centres during the day.
You will find International law firms, insurance companies, certified public accountants and management and public relations consultants, financial analysts and advisers on the
Island. This has stimulated other related financial establishments. Bahrain is home to over 90 commercial banks, investment houses and offshore banking units (OBUs). In
addition, there are over 50 representative offices, money and foreign exchange brokers, and about 60 local, foreign and exempt insurance companies.
Bahrain's economy is estimated to be growing at a rate close to 5% with financial services accounting for some 18% of all economic activity. Banks are investing in major
projects and lending at an ever-increasing pace to investors.
Considered the region's best run supervisory body, the Central Bank of Bahrain is the force behind the moves to improve the already high reputation of Bahrain in banking circles.
The Central Bank maintains strict reporting and accounting arrangements which adhere to best international practice. It maintains international standards of supervision and
focuses increasingly on the quality rather than the quantity of a bank's assets. The Central Bank has announced a Deposit Protection Scheme. Under this scheme, commercial
bank deposits of both residents and non-residents, in local or foreign currency, will be protected up to a prescribed level in the event of the liquidation of a bank operating in
The licensing, regulation and supervision of advisers who provide investment and other financial advice in or from Bahrain is also regulated. This protects investors from the
possibility of negligence or fraud.
From His Excellency, the Minister of Commerce:
"Bahrain's strategic location, within easy access to nearly 100 million resourceful and economically strong consumers in a virtually recession-free market, is another of the most
cited reasons why companies move to Bahrain. Its link via the King Fahad Causeway to the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, the biggest market in the region, as well as Bahrain
International Airport, the hub of Middle East aviation, makes the island the obvious distribution and services centre for the region.
And we are traditionally a very tolerant society which welcomes visitors. Bahrain is a favourite weekend destination for both nationals and foreigners living in Saudi Arabia and
Kuwait. It offers an eclectic lifestyle -- a unique blend of traditional Arab culture and antiquities interspersed with western entertainment and night life.
Many foreigners come here to work and voluntarily extend their stay. It is this resident foreign community that is one of our biggest supporters."