Finance & Capital Market

Bahrain EDB draws record $1.7bn investments in 2023

Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB) has announced that it has achieved a remarkable milestone, supported by Team Bahrain, netting a record level of investments upwards of $1.7 billion in 2023.
This marks a massive influx equivalent to a year-on-year increase of 55% compared to $1.1 billion in investments generated by Bahrain EDB in 2022. 
Announcing the feat, EDB said these investments for 2023, which stem from 85 local and international projects, are projected to generate more than 5,700 employment opportunities over a three-year period across priority sectors in the interest of promoting economic diversification and sustainable growth.
The highest level of investments flowed into the financial services sector, demonstrating its strength, resilience, and ability to attract leading global players. 
It was additionally a record year for the financial services sector, which overtook oil and gas as the largest contributor to Bahrain’s economy representing 17.5% of real GDP, said EDB in its report. 
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector also secured a healthy pipeline of investments, which is set to spur further innovation within the sector.
Enhancing digital transformation efforts across all sectors of Bahrain’s economy with targeted plans and initiatives, as well as digitising government services and adopting artificial intelligence-led solutions has continued to be an area of priority for the government.
EDB pointed out that manufacturing followed closely, underscoring Bahrain's innate capabilities in advanced manufacturing backed by its strategic location as a gateway to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market and beyond. 
Alongside a host of new tourism projects, the island nation’s rich cultural heritage, deep-rooted history of hospitality and island-living laid-back lifestyle have continued to cement Bahrain's appeal as a premier travel destination. The logistics sector was not far behind in attracting strong investment projects, reflecting Bahrain's rapidly growing transport and logistics activities.
On the solid performance, Khalid Humaidan, the former Chief Executive of Bahrain EDB, and the current Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, said: "2023 is a milestone year for Bahrain EDB. Backed by the agile support of Team Bahrain, a record upwards of $1.7 billion in direct local and international investments were attracted into multiple sectors, which will effectively contribute to sustainable economic growth, boosting employment and training opportunities within the local workforce."
Team Bahrain, a curated approach that champions the private and public sector working closely together to create an innovative an attractive investment environment for businesses to succeed, remains a cornerstone of Bahrain’s value proposition. 
Whether bidding to pass a new regulation or analysing the feasibility of launching a niche idea to market – Team Bahrain works with empathy and drive connecting investors to the key decision makers that matter, stated the top official.
Humaidan had taken over the new CBB role early this month. In his capacity as Governor, he will remain in the board of directors of Bahrain EDB, which comprises members from both the public and private sectors, while Minister of Sustainable Development Noor bint Ali Alkhulaif has given an additional role as Chief Executive of Bahrain EDB.
The strategic appointment echoes the commitment of Bahrain in aligning its economic growth and diversification journey with its long-term vision for sustainable development.
Humaidan pointed out that Bahrain’s FDI stock relative to GDP was well above the global average rate at around 82%, which stands as a testament to the robust trust investors place in Bahrain’s competitive value proposition. 
FDI remains a strong contributor to Bahrain’s continued success story as an agile, steadily growing, and diversified economy,” he added. 
As CEO Noor bint Ali will be providing executive guidance to the investment promotion agency to ensure it continues to achieve its mandate of supporting strategic initiatives that enhance the existing investment climate, driving in solid local and global investments, and actively encouraging leading global companies to set up in Bahrain.
"It is an exciting time to come on board as Chief Executive. I am a firm believer that there are perfect synergies between the Ministry and Bahrain EDB - sustainable development cannot happen without economic development, the two mandates go hand in hand," stated Noor bint Ali, who had earlier served as the Assistant Undersecretary for Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Finance and National Economy. 
She also holds a master’s degree in economics and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. 
Bahrain, she stated, remains committed to fostering a supportive ecosystem for investors, with forward looking policies aimed at simplifying business operations, offering unique competitive advantages leading to success stories with local roots and global impact 
These factors, combined with a highly skilled, bi-lingual, and diverse talent pool, advanced infrastructure, and strategic location, continue to cement Bahrain as an attractive destination for global investors around the world, noted Noor bint Ali.
"With the support of Team Bahrain, we look forward to collectively working towards continuing to enhance Bahrain’s investment climate maintaining its position as an attractive investment destination, all while forging stronger ties with our partners across the public and private sectors," she added.-TradeArabia News Service