Bahrain has continued to offset the effects of the drop in oil prices with a host of measures, including moves towards subsidy reduction. A series of big-ticket projects are under way in a number of sectors and the government is pushing ahead with its all-important diversification initiatives, with a $32bn investment strategy fuelling activity across a variety of areas of the economy. Ongoing investment in the energy sector is expected to help boost the economy in coming years, particularly in terms of enhancing refining and providing a reliable supply of fuel for heavy industry.
- Economy: Planning for the Future – Bahrain’s financial sector has long been a mainstay of the economy, and the kingdom continues to benefit from an advanced regulatory framework, an educated workforce and a relatively low-cost environment. Whilst GDP growth eased in 2015-16, the economy remains steady overall.
- Energy: Revenue Streams – Although its revenues from oil and gas have fallen, the government of Bahrain is pushing new investment into the kingdom’s energy sector. It has also taken historic steps to reduce subsidies on fuel, food and utilities that have in turn reduced its expenditure.
- Banking: Robust Regulation – Thanks to prudent regulation, Bahrain’s banking sector remains secure despite the challenging macroeconomic situation in the region. Although efforts to maintain growth margins are becoming more challenging the kingdom’s conventional and Islamic banks continue to expand in the domestic market and beyond.
- Transport: On the Move – With construction under way on the $1.1bn expansion of its international airport and a further $700m investment being made on road and bridge building, Bahrain is working to improve its global connections, which will benefit its logistics sector and shorten journey times for residents.
- Tourism: Positive Draw – With its many historical and natural attractions, Bahrain has strong appeal to visitors from near and far. The kingdom offers easy access for people living in the Gulf region – making it a prime destination for short stays – and visitors enjoy numerous hotel options. Bahrain is also capitalising on the increasing number of tourists who come from Saudi Arabia via the King Fahd Causeway