Bahrain Economy

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Despite its diversified economy, Bahrain has nonetheless faced pressures in recent years as a result of the 2014-15 drop in global oil prices. However, a multibillion-dollar aid package from other Gulf states and an accompanying fiscal adjustment plan, as well as growth following a partial oil price recovery and a major oil and gas discovery, offer hope for an economic turnaround in 2019.

Strong non-oil sector and foreign direct investment (FDI) growth combined to deliver Bahrain momentum through 2018, with the country’s biggest hydrocarbons discovery in decades expected to strengthen its fiscal position in the years ahead.

Reforms to improve trade and protect investor rights have bolstered Bahrain’s standing on the World Bank’s most recent ease of doing business index, with newly ratified legislation set to further boost its investment appeal.

The introduction of a goods and services tax, coupled with cost-cutting measures and a proposed multibillion-dollar loan, is expected to help Bahrain improve its fiscal position and reduce national debt.

Bahrain has benefitted from a series of reforms aimed at increasing foreign direct investment (FDI), recording a strong jump in inflows in 2017.

Bahrain has moved to improve its start-up ecosystem as part of plans to further diversify the economy, launching a new funding and training initiative specifically targeting entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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