Economy

Bahrain Economy

The kingdom of Bahrain has thrived as one of the Gulf’s financial centres for decades. Despite increasing competition from emerging financial centres in the region, its advanced regulatory framework, educated workforce and relatively low-cost environment means that it remains an attractive platform for companies engaging with the wider GCC and beyond. The recent decline in oil prices, however, serves as a reminder of the government’s reliance on its hydrocarbons resources for revenues. Facing a stubborn fiscal deficit, Bahrain is in the process of overhauling its subsidy framework and seeking new income streams, both of which are challenging prospects in an economy renowned for generous social support and light-touch taxation. The kingdom’s long-standing diversification strategy, meanwhile, has taken on a new urgency with the prospect of volatile oil prices for some years to come.

This chapter contains interviews with Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive, Bahrain Economic Development Board; Mahmood Al Kooheji, CEO, Mumtalakat; and Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi, Chief Executive, Tamkeen.