This chapter includes the following articles.
While Bahrain has witnessed strong growth in recent years, there are concerns that sluggish oil prices and rising debt levels will limit growth into 2015. However the finance and banking sector, which represents the kingdom’s second-largest economic contributor, is expected to continue expanding, with the country having emerged in recent years as a financial services hub, especially in regards to its Islamic finance and insurance offerings. Moreover, foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into the kingdom continue to grow steadily since 2009, totalling $989m in 2013, up 11% from $891m in 2012 and outpacing global FDI flows, which increased by 9% in the same period. Three of Bahrain’s industrial areas are included among a list of the top 20 global free zones of the future, with the additional investment incentives and benefits for foreign investors on offer expected to ensure the kingdom remains an attractive location for companies setting up in the region.
This chapter contains interviews with Kamal bin Ahmed, Acting Chief Executive, Bahrain Economic Development Board; Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance; Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General, Association of South-East Asian Nations; Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Secretary-General, GCC; Alderman Fiona Woolf, Lord Mayor of London; and Mahmood Hashim Al Kooheji, CEO, Mumtalakat.