What can the EDB offer countries launching into a new market?
Bahrain has been on a continuous journey of transformation over the past four decades as it seeks to make the shift from a oil-based economy to a knowledge-based one. With a thriving tech ecosystem, highly-skilled workforce and sitting at the apex of the $1.5 trillion Gulf market, the Kingdom is an increasingly attractive destination for international businesses. And it is our role, as the Bahrain Economic Development Board, to ensure that the setting up here is as seamless and fruitful as possible.
Acting as the first port of call for investors looking to establish their businesses in the Kingdom, we have recently introduced a number of initiatives to strengthen our offering to potential investors.
In an era of enhanced digitalisation, we have taken a number of measures to ensure an economic ecosystem that fosters innovation and a regulatory framework that protects customers interests, but remains pro-innovation. This includes the region’s first set of cryptocurrency regulations; easy access to funding opportunities which allow for rapid scalability; and the region’s lowest cost of doing business. Recently, UK FinTech Tramonex was one of the first two companies to join our regulatory sandbox, introduced by the Central Bank of Bahrain to allow FinTech start-ups to test and scale innovative new services and technologies.
In Bahrain, we focus on providing a holistic approach to business. Our ‘Team Bahrain’ approach, which promotes close collaboration between the public and private sectors, quickly identifying and understanding shared challenges and opportunities. And we are seeing results. Amazon Web Services – taking full advantage of the Kingdom as ‘the gateway to the Gulf’ – is due to launch the region’s first hyperscale data centre in Bahrain later this year. This is testament to our decision to put cloud at the forefront of our digital strategy– it is estimated that companies can save up to 50 per cent annually in costs by moving to the cloud. The Kingdom also boasts the Middle East’s first and still largest FinTech hub, supported by the likes of Microsoft, Cisco and American Express.
Bahrain has bilateral trade and economic agreements with over 40 different countries, including the UK. In 2016, Bahrain saw $480,106,736 worth of non-oil good imports from the UK and exported some $16,745,316 worth. There are more than 500 UK commercial agencies and over 90 branches of British companies active in the Kingdom. Furthermore, more than 350 Bahraini companies have UK partners. So why not come and see what’s on offer in Bahrain for yourself.
For more information contact Emma Parsons.