The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), an investment promotion agency with overall responsibility for attracting investment into the Kingdom, attracted 92 companies and investments worth BHD 314 million (US$ 830 million) in 2018. These achievements were announced at the annual EDB Reception that was attended by strategic partners from both the public and private sectors and more than 200 investors, industry peers, and officials.
The investments are expected to generate about 4,700 new job opportunities over the coming three years, across industries like Logistics, Manufacturing, Tourism, Real Estate, Education, Healthcare, ICT, and Finance.
In his key-note address to the audience, His Excellency Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Bahrain EDB, attributed the accomplishment to the visionary directives of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Chairman of the EDB, along with Team Bahrain – a model of public-private sector collaboration. The Team Bahrain approach has proven to be successful in a number of initiatives throughout 2018 and is set to continue to enhance the investment climate and ease of doing business.
His Excellency Khalid Al Rumaihi also reiterated the EDB’s goal of presenting the Kingdom’s competitive advantages to international investors. These advantages include Bahrain’s high quality of life, low operating costs, strong ICT infrastructure, world-class regulation, and the highly-qualified local human capital. The EDB will continue to work with the relevant private and public sector organisations to ensure that Bahrain is recognised as the gateway to the Gulf and remains at the top of key international rankings like the MENA ICT Readiness Index (ITU), Global Islamic Finance Development Index by (Thomson Reuters), and the Global Connectedness Index (DHL).
Concluding his speech, he mentioned that in 2019 the EDB would build on the successes of the previous year, including by working towards hosting the biennial Gateway Gulf Investor Forum in 2020. The inaugural Forum, which took place in 2018, showcased projects worth US$26 billion (BHD 9.8 billion) across sectors.