Country Profile

Bahrain Country Profile

The kingdom of Bahrain has been ruled as a constitutional monarchy since 2002 under the leadership of Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The country pioneered the Middle East’s oil production in 1932, thus establishing the region’s initial framework for the petroleum industry. The energy sector remains a pillar of the kingdom’s economy, accounting for the bulk of government revenues but a shrinking proportion of GDP thanks to early efforts to diversify its economy at an early stage. Consequently, the country established itself as a leading regional financial centre in the 1970s and 1980s, with its highly regarded regulatory system encouraging various regional banks looking to move their capital out of Lebanon during that country’s civil war to set up base in Bahrain.

This chapter contains an interview with Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Secretary-General, GCC; and a viewpoint from Theresa May, Prime Minster of the UK.