Bahrain's Economic Development Board (EDB) exceeded its target by helping bring in BD333 million ($885 million) of foreign direct investments to the kingdom in 2020, it has been revealed at an EDB board meeting.
The meeting, held remotely, was chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Prime Minister and Chairman of the Economic Development Board (EDB), said a Bahrain News Agency report.
HRH noted that Bahraini citizens will continue to remain at the heart of all development plans and praised the EDB’s success in attracting direct investments during 2020, while emphasising the importance of advancing these efforts, in line with the kingdom’s ambitious development plans.
During the meeting, HRH Prince Salman stressed the importance of economic diversification efforts as a means to further enhance the sustainability of the national economy and help capitalise on the kingdom's economic resilience. This economic resilience, as well as other national competencies, has allowed the kingdom to navigate its way through a variety of global challenges, he noted.
HRH added that the unprecedented economic stimulus package, launched following directives from HM the King to mitigate the impact of Covid-19, played a crucial role in enhancing recovery efforts and continuing positive growth for various vital economic sectors.
He also indicated that Bahrain has taken careful and balanced steps to manage the impact of Covid-19 on the community and the economy. Precautionary and preventative measures founded on community awareness and cooperation, and continuing to allow movement for living necessities and commercial and economic activities and maintaining open borders for travellers, has managed to have a clear impact on reducing Covid-19 repercussions on all levels.
HRH emphasised that the kingdom will continue to achieve its desired goals with the collective spirit of Team Bahrain and its members, and will continue to implement wide-ranging economic strategies and attract direct investment in developing the national economy. This will in turn enable the private sector to play a greater role in economic growth, create further job opportunities for citizens and enhance the kingdom's economic and investment position both regionally and globally.
The investment attracted last year is expected to create more than 4,300 jobs over the next three years, said Khalid Ebrahim Humaidan, Chief Executive of the Bahrain EDB.
Humaidan further highlighted the continuous growth of accumulated investments in the Kingdom over the past 10 years, the stock of which saw a growth of around $1 billion annually.
He also highlighted a number of prominent local, regional, and international investments in the kingdom, including from GCC, European, and Asian companies. These companies invested in a number of major sectors including financial services, manufacturing, logistics and retail services, education, healthcare services, real estates, tourism, and ICT.
According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the size of accumulated direct investments compared to the kingdom’s GDP in 2019 was around 78%, double the world average of 42%, he said.