DUBAI: Bahrain secured investments of more than $1.7 billion in 2023 from local and international investors, up 55% from the previous year, through the Gulf state's government investment promotion agency, the Economic Development Board (EDB).

Bahrain's EDB said on Tuesday it had helped generate investments across 85 projects in 2023, with the highest level of investment into the financial services sector.

Investments in 2022 totalled $1.1 billion, according to an EDB statement.

Financial services accounted for 17.5% of Bahrain's real gross domestic product (GDP) in 2023, overtaking the oil and gas sector as the largest contributor to GDP.

Gulf states have all initiated strategies to diversify income sources away from oil and gas and develop non-oil economic sectors for future growth.

"FDI remains a strong contributor to Bahrain’s continued success story as an agile, steadily growing, and diversified economy", Central Bank Governor Khalid Humaidan said in the statement.

Among the region's more indebted economies and smaller oil producers, Bahrain has introduced reforms to make doing business easier, create more jobs, and attract foreign investment to boost economic growth.

Earlier this month, Bahrain raised $2 billion from global debt markets, joining a string of emerging market countries that have taken advantage of market conditions to raise debt. (Reporting by Rachna Uppal; Editing by Sharon Singleton)