Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB), supported by Team Bahrain, has achieved a remarkable milestone securing a record level of investments upwards of $1.7 billion in 2023, marking a massive influx equivalent to a year-on-year increase of 55 per cent compared to the $1.1bn in investments generated by Bahrain EDB in 2022.

The investments for 2023, which stem from 85 local and international projects, are projected to generate over 5,700 employment opportunities over a three-year period across priority sectors in the interest of promoting economic diversification and sustainable growth.

The highest level of investments was attracted into the financial services sector, demonstrating the sector’s strength, resilience, and ability to attract leading global players. 2023 was additionally a record year for the financial services sector, which overtook oil and gas as the largest contributor to Bahrain’s economy representing 17.5pc of real GDP.

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector also secured a healthy pipeline of investments, which is set to spur further innovation within the sector. Enhancing digital transformation efforts across all sectors of Bahrain’s economy with targeted plans and initiatives, as well as digitising government services and adopting artificial intelligence-led solutions has continued to be an area of priority for the government.

Manufacturing followed closely, underscoring Bahrain’s innate capabilities in advanced manufacturing backed by its strategic location as a gateway to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market and beyond. Alongside a host of new tourism projects, the island nation’s rich cultural heritage, deep-rooted history of hospitality and island-living laid-back lifestyle have continued to cement Bahrain’s appeal as a premier travel destination. The logistics sector was not far behind in attracting strong investment projects, reflecting Bahrain’s rapidly growing transport and logistics activities.

Khalid Humaidan, former chief executive of Bahrain EDB, was appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, having assumed the new position as of February 1, 2024. In his capacity as governor, he will remain a member of the board of directors of Bahrain EDB, which comprises members from the public and private sectors.

Mr Humaidan stated: “2023 is a milestone year for Bahrain EDB. Backed by the agile support of Team Bahrain, a record upwards of $1.7bn in direct local and international investments were attracted into multiple sectors, which will effectively contribute to sustainable economic growth, boosting employment and training opportunities within the local workforce.”

“Bahrain’s FDI stock relative to GDP is well above the global average rate at around 82pc, which stands as a testament to the robust trust investors place in Bahrain’s competitive value proposition. FDI remains a strong contributor to Bahrain’s continued success story as an agile, steadily growing, and diversified economy,” he added.

Bahrain remains committed to fostering a supportive ecosystem for investors, with forward looking policies aimed at simplifying business operations, offering unique competitive advantages leading to success stories with local roots and global impact. These factors, combined with a highly skilled, bi-lingual, and diverse talent pool, advanced infrastructure, and strategic location, continue to cement Bahrain as an attractive destination for global investors around the world.

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