Business in Bahrain

Bahrain is unique in the Middle East. Along with a stable economic climate and competitive costs, you will find a highly business friendly culture that welcomes foreign investment.

Building on our natural geographic and human capital advantages, we have crafted a business environment that nurtures foreign companies’ prosperity. In turn, this has created a steady flow of jobs for Bahraini citizens, “who are widely known as the Gulf’s most educated and skilled”.

The decisions of respected international companies to select our Kingdom for their base in the Middle East are rewarding our initiatives. Steadily rising investment and our ascent in the global ranking of open markets demonstrate our success.

With the Middle East’s economies set to grow, we believe Bahrain’s proposition is the most business-friendly.

Unrivalled access to the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) markets

Bahrain’s strategic location at the heart of the Gulf is the most central place in the Middle East to position your business, giving you the fastest access to export markets for your goods and services throughout the region.

We are the closest country to Saudi Arabia, the Gulf’s largest economy, and major markets including the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are all less than an hour’s flight away.

Access to every market in the Middle East is quick and efficient – by air, sea and road.

The Middle East’s most liberal market

Bahrain’s economy has long been the most liberal in the Middle East and has steadily improved its ranking worldwide – today the Index of Economic Freedom places us ahead of G7 economies such as Germany, France and Japan, as well as the major developing markets like China and India.

In Bahrain, you can retain 100% foreign ownership and benefit from the region’s lowest taxes. You can freely repatriate capital, profits and dividends.

We have bilateral trade and economic agreements with more than 40 countries, including China, France, India, Singapore and the UK. And we have had an active Free Trade Agreement with the United States since 2004.

Demonstrating the strength of our economic model, our sovereign credit ratings have remained strong. Our ratings are: Standard & Poor’s, A/Stable/A-14; Fitch, A.5

A long and successful track record of helping businesses flourish

Bahrain has a regulatory regime that provides a liberal , open and transparent environment that fosters growth. Our legal system protects companies’ rights, while our free market environment allows businesses to thrive.

Since the 1970s, Bahrain has been the Middle East’s leading financial services center and the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) is widely recognised as the region’s pre-eminent single regulator.

Businesses enjoy the protection of the Kingdom’s legal and regulatory systems, with their established track record and global best-practice standards. Strict intellectual property and copyright laws are enforced which ensure the highest standards of protection.

Competitive costs

Living in Bahrain is less expensive than elsewhere in the Gulf, with Manama judged a cheaper place to live than competing cities while maintaining an excellent standard of living. Wages are, therefore, competitive and typically less than elsewhere in the region.

Other basic costs are also inexpensive. Rents for offices and industrial land are lower than elsewhere. Furthermore, electricity, gas and water costs are highly competitive.

Finally, Bahrain has the lowest taxes in the GCC, with no corporation, income, value-added or withholding tax. There are also no capital gains or wealth taxes, and no inheritance taxes or death duties.

Most educated & skilled national workforce in the gulf

Our people are by far the most educated and skilled in the Gulf, enabling businesses to minimise spending on expatriate packages.

Many sectors rely heavily on our people’s skills, due to our training, command of English and cost-efficiency. For example, in the financial services sector, two-thirds of employees are Bahraini, thanks to the abundant pool of Bahrainis with relevant skills.

Bahraini women are highly educated and well-represented in all major professions, holding senior positions in banking, business and accountancy.

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