Kamal bin Ahmed
Bahrain shines in global free zones ranking
Manama, June 7, 2012
Bahrain is home to three of the world’s top twenty special economic zones and locations for inward investment, economic development and business expansion globally, according to a report by Foreign Direct Investment Magazine.
Bahrain International Investment Park (15th worldwide), Khalifa Bin Salman Port (16th worldwide) and Bahrain International Airport (19th worldwide) were all placed within the leading 20 locations, with Bahrain Logistics Zone also included in the report, ranking 30th, said the FDI Magazine 2012/13Global Free Zones Rankings released today.
The magazine released the rankings after conducting a study on 150 free zones and special economic zones worldwide. These rankings reflect the Kingdom’s established position as a regional logistics and transportation hub.
Strategically located at the heart of the Gulf, Bahrain has long been considered the gateway to the region, with easy access to the large economies of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.
With excellent transport infrastructure, and the causeway linking Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain’s logistics industry has been growing fast in response to increasing demand from businesses.
Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), said: “We are delighted that Bahrain’s logistics capability has been recognised in this report.'
'All three of these leading centres play a key role in making Bahrain the best location from which to access the GCC markets in Saudi, Qatar and Kuwait, whether by air, sea or land,' bin Ahmed stated.
'Optimising Bahrain’s connectivity to the region through world-class facilities plays an important part in our strategy to create sustainable economic growth and high-quality Bahraini jobs for the long term,' said the minister.
With a number of projects for further investments planned over the coming years, including the expansion of Bahrain International Airport, we are confident that Bahrain’s position as the best location for companies looking to access the Gulf economy will endure,” he added.
Commenting on the report, Hassan Ali Al Majed, the director general of the General Organisation of Sea Ports, said: “Our aim is to firmly establish Bahrain as a leading global maritime centre and transhipment hub for the Northern Gulf.'
'We are therefore pleased with Khalifa Bin Salman Port’s ranking which recognizes the state-of-the art infrastructure, high business potential and services offered by the port. BLZ’s ranking further underscores our continuous efforts in establishing partnerships with tenants to support Bahrain’s logistics offering and our position as a regional transhipment hub.”
The Bahrain EDB is a dynamic public agency with an overall responsibility for attracting inward investment into Bahrain, and is focusing on target economic sectors in which the Kingdom offers significant strengths.
The EDB played an instrumental role in attracting over $300 million of investment from international businesses across a wide range of sectors in 2011.-TradeArabia News Service