Country Information


Ideal business environment

Bahrain is an attractive foreign investment destination in the Gulf. Economic reform measures by the government to diversify the economy have yielded both a range of investment opportunities and a good business environment for international enterprises interested in the region.


Strong growth areas

Oil and aluminium are Bahrain’s two largest exports, and the government continues to seek new natural gas supplies as feedstock to support its expanding petrochemical and aluminum industries. At the same time, Bahrain is also actively pursuing the diversification and privatisation of its economy to reduce its dependence on oil. It has nurtured successful hospitality, retail and banking sectors, particularly in the area of Islamic finance.


Gateway to the Gulf

With readily-available skilled labour and competitive costs, Bahrain serves as an ideal gateway for international companies wishing to access the lucrative Gulf markets. It is also well-connected, ranking 7th worldwide for market connectedness based on international and domestic transport infrastructure links and level of service1. According to Bahrain's Economic Development Board, the Khalifa Bin Salman Port boasts the fastest clearance time in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.


Venture to Bahrain

The Bahraini government recognises the need to diversify its economy and attract foreign investment to maintain the nation’s continued prosperity. Unlike its Gulf neighbours, Bahrain has limited energy assets remaining for export purposes. As a small non-OPEC oil producer with little ability to expand output, the government is aware of the country's vulnerability to fluctuations in global oil prices. It has therefore put considerable effort into non-oil development in the past decade, and it is currently one of the more diversified economies in the region, providing investors with a wide range of opportunities.

1: Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index 2017


Geography: Bahrain is an island in the Persian Gulf, situated between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Covering 717km2, it is the smallest of the Gulf States.

Population: 1.4 million (est. July 2017)

Ease of Doing Business Ranking: 66th (2017)

Economic Freedom Ranking: 44th (2017)

Bilateral Trade: S$338.7 million (2016)

Key Economic Indicators (est. 2016):

GDP Growth Rate 3%

Unemployment Rate 3.7%

Inflation Rate 2.8%

Government Debt to GDP 72%

Currency Used: Bahraini dinars (BHD)

Language: Arabic (official), English, Farsi, Urdu

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Manama is the capital and largest city of Bahrain, with an approximate population of 157,000 people. Long an important trading centre in the Persian Gulf, Manama is home to a very diverse population. After the Bahrain government’s concerted diversification effort in the 1990s, Manama has become an important financial hub in the Middle East.