Where is Bahrain’s economy heading?
According to the Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, Khalid Al-Rumaihi, Bahrain is on its way to becoming an attractive hub for foreign investments and businesses. He mentions that Bahrain is able to continue attracting capital inflows despite the growing appeal of Saudi Arabia’s economic and social reforms.
Khalid Al-Rumaihi was at the World Economic Forum in Davis where he states that Bahrain’s role “is not well understood.” He claims that there is more than enough room for several hubs in the region, known as intra-GCC trade grows. Its value had already grown from $15 billion in 2002 to more than $120 billion today, and Khalid believes that it can get to $500 billion. “We have the ability to become a hub for growing GCC trade flows. We see ourselves potentially playing the same role in the Arabian Gulf as Hong Kong does next to China. There is room for several hubs in the region as there are in Asia.”
While Saudi is indeed going through social and economic reforms, as part of their 2030 Vision, it’s equally important to highlight the fact that Bahrain has been going through tremendous changes. Bahrain is currently developing five pillars that will attract foreign investors, they include logistics, light manufacturing, financial services/fintech, digital technology, and tourism.
Moreover, at the moment Bahrain is in the middle of a $32 billion infrastructure program, which includes new hotels, the expansion of the airport, a new causeway between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, a raft of new malls, and the launch of FinTech Bay, which is designed to be the largest FinTech hub in the MENA region.
“The GCC is here to stay, despite political issues at the moment. I could even see it getting bigger,” Khalid Al-Rumaihi said.