A new Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap produced by Oxford Business Group (OBG) explores the key role that Bahrain’s growing private sector and investor-friendly regulatory environment are set to play in driving recovery and paving the way for post-pandemic growth.
The report provides in-depth analysis of Bahrain’s response to the pandemic and economic development plans in an easy-to-navigate and accessible format, focusing on key data and infographics relating to the country’s socio-economic landscape.
The report also considers how Bahrain can build further on its close proximity to Saudi Arabia, with the reopening of the King Fahd Causeway helping to revive both trade and inbound tourism.
The kingdom’s successful efforts to encourage entrepreneurial activity and make small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a priority are another focus.
OBG charts the national drive under way to help smaller businesses tap opportunities overseas, with particular support being made available to women-owned SMEs. It also looks at the initiatives put in place in 2020 to support the segment when the pandemic arrived.
Elsewhere, OBG tracks Bahrain’s digital transformation progress, noting that the country’s mature telecoms market and robust digital infrastructure, together with the recent addition of full nationwide 5G coverage, should provide a springboard for SMEs looking to harness digital tools for future growth.
Other topical issues examined include the part played by Bahrain’s advanced Covid-19 testing and treatment capabilities, combined with an accelerated public vaccination programme, in keeping case-fatality rate significantly below the global average.
Jana Treeck, OBG’s Managing Director for the Gulf, said that although Bahrain’s economy contracted by 5.4% in 2020, with the pandemic weighing heavily on key sectors such as energy and tourism, the vaccine rollout across the Gulf and easing of restrictions point to a robust recovery.
"Bahrain is benefiting from its concerted diversification efforts which have made it less susceptible to downturns in the commodities market," she said.
"The widening fiscal deficit still presents a challenge. However, the kingdom looks set to rebound strongly, with the IMF estimating GDP expansion of 3.3% in 2021 - the highest growth rate in the GCC," she added.-TradeArabia News Service