Bahrain's Commitment to
Bahrain set the benchmark in 2016 by introducing many regional firsts including modern initiatives that form the most important pillars of the economy.
Bahrain emerged as a digital nation in 2017 as it paved the way for new technology supporting the Kingdom’s economic development.
Recognising the road ahead and in pursuit of an innovation-led economy, Bahrain is launching a number of effective initiatives that will ensure further enhancement of the Kingdom’s business environment.
- Future Initiatives
Liberalisation of the Transport & Logistics Sector enabled 100% foreign-owned regional distribution centres.
Drastic improvement in customs processes over King Fahd Causeway fast-tracked movement of goods and products to Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain revised the Entry Visa Policy enabling leisure and business visitors to enjoy lower fees and extended stays.
Bahrain further liberalised additional business activities, allowing the majority of companies to have 100% foreign ownership in various sectors.
Bahrain became the first country in the GCC to allow investors to establish nationwide limited partnerships through the introduction of the Investment Limited Partnership Law.
A new Protected Cell Companies Law was passed nationwide giving foreign investors in any specific cell, protection from the liabilities of other cells in the core company.
Bahrain became the first in MENA to update and reintroduce all types of trusts nationwide through the new Trusts Law.
Bahrain implemented a ‘Cloud First Policy’, enabling the public sector to improve efficiencies, increase productivity and reduce IT expenditures by 30% to 90%.
Bahrain became the first country in the GCC to introduce a nationwide Regulatory Sandbox framework providing an opportunity for FinTech businesses to test new technologies in Bahrain and expand to the wider region.
Bahrain introduced new business activities and processes to better regulate and promote Incubators, Accelerators and Startups.
The SME Development Board was launched to nurture an entrepreneurial ecosystem by identifying and implementing initiatives that would enable SMEs to grow.
A new Real Estate Law was issued to elevate standards of regulation in the industry, ensuring greater protection for all investors.
Financing and Equity based Crowdfunding Regulations, with a Shari’a compliant option, were introduced as alternative financing opportunities for FinTech companies, Startups and SMEs.
The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) established a dedicated FinTech Unit to support the financial services sector in developing new technologies and innovation in the field.
The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) implemented regulatory changes to allow the use of cloud technology.
Draft amendments to the Commercial Companies Law was finalised to further protect minority shareholders’ rights thus strengthening their corporate governance and encouraging further development of the capital market.
Projects that will Define the Future of Bahrain
Bahrain will issue a new Competition Law to promote fair play and combat any anti-competitive practices as well as regulate merger and acquisition activities.
Bahrain will introduce a new Bankruptcy Law that will strengthen the insolvency framework procedures to support sustainable development for SMEs.
Bahrain will modernise the current e-Transactions Law to further enhance Bahrain’s e-Transactions regulations for commercial use.
Secured Transactions Law
Bahrain will introduce a Secured Transactions Law to encourage the use of moveable assets as collateral for loans, stimulating availability of credit at reduced cost.
The National Health Insurance System will make private health facilities more readily accessible to local and foreign workers through a mandatory insurance scheme.
Bahrain FinTech Bay
Bahrain plans to formally launch FinTech Bay, MENA’s largest FinTech hub, to enhance the ecosystem that can drive the FinTech industry and incubate scalable and impactful FinTech initiatives.
Data Protection Laws
Bahrain will bring Data Protection Laws in compliance with EU Data Protection Directive to benefit companies handling customer data and allow EU companies to host data in the Kingdom. Further amendments will also be made to comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation.
Venture Capital Fund of Funds
Bahrain will launch a venture capital fund of funds, which will invest in local and regional startups and help to mitigate a funding gap in the startup ecosystem.