MANAMA: A UAE-based strategic investor has lined up a $30 million spend in Bahrain’s healthcare and education sectors.

The Economic Development Board (EDB), the kingdom’s main investment promotion agency, yesterday announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Foundation Holdings, which will deploy the funds into establishing its portfolio companies in Bahrain, creating 300-500 locally-sourced, specialised healthcare jobs in the process.

The plans for Bahrain include a new state-of-the-art medical centre focused on specialised healthcare and non-communicable diseases.

The launch of primary care provider Right Health – an affiliate of Foundation Holdings – will be centred around a new research and development centre that, along with a chain of outpatient and diagnostic facilities and pharmacies, will offer a clinical capacity of 150 doctors and nurses capable of serving as many as 500,000 patients annually.

The agreement also includes launching medical solutions through ProMedEx – another Foundation Holdings affiliate – who will work with the country’s leading private and public hospitals to offer the world’s best-in-class technology orthopaedic and general surgery implants and devices.

The healthcare market in Bahrain has been growing at an annual average rate of 12.2pc, from an estimated $1.1 billion in 2015 to an estimated $2bn in 2020 which reflects the growing investment opportunity within this key sector.

Foundation Holdings believes Bahrain is poised to become a major hub for finance, healthcare, education, technology and innovation, said the private wealth management’s chief executive Abhishek Sharma.

“We are proud to partner with Bahrain to enhance the quality of the healthcare and education sectors in the kingdom and the wider GCC region. We are committed to driving innovation within these critical sectors, to meeting the growing demand for specialised service offerings and to creating jobs to lay the foundation for stronger long-term economic growth,” he added.

“The latest technologies of our investee companies like ProMedEx and Right Health will further benefit all residents of Bahrain in addition to creating local jobs, and we look forward to using our talent, scale and experience as an effective private sector partner to make a significant positive impact in the kingdom.”

The news of the MoU comes as Bahrain continues to embark on ongoing healthcare reforms as part of its Vision 2030 programme, creating new and expanded opportunities for investors and healthcare providers.

Commenting on the agency’s support to Foundation Holdings in entering the Bahrain healthcare market, EDB chief investment officer Mahmood Al Aradi said: “This is a strategic investment that has the potential to unlock significant opportunities for healthcare providers in Bahrain over the coming years.

“Our strategic location, our competitive business offering, which includes delivering the best value operating costs in the region, and the growing demand for healthcare services will all play a fundamental role in contributing to the success of the project,” he added.

The official also believes this strengthens Bahrain’s position as a regional pioneer for healthcare and education and in turn become the springboard for the entire GCC, attracting foreign direct investment and importing global best practices.

Foundation’s assets under management exceed $136.14m with investments in seven companies across the GCC and India.

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