HRH Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa
The Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB)
New Challenges Bring New OpportunitiesBahrain EDB’s contribution to the Kingdom’s development programme continues to move from strength to strength, with 2017 witnessing a record-breaking year for the organisation and the Kingdom. EDB generated inward investment to Bahrain doubled over the year to US$ 733 million, supporting robust non-oil sector expansion and creating over 2,831 jobs in the wider economy.
What is more impressive is the backdrop against which this achievement has been delivered.
The decline in global oil prices and its economic implications for GCC member states has been clear for all to see, with deep-rooted regional reform and consolidation necessary to ensure sustainability of our resources. A striking outcome, however, has been the extent to which the challenge has been embraced as an opportunity for change.
New structural reforms are becoming engrained in the workings of governments across the region, and economic diversification is delivering tangible results. In response to shared macroeconomic challenges, GCC nations have delivered a stable, low inflation economic environment that prioritises growth and provides new opportunities for the private sector.
The Kingdom of Bahrain and the EDB are excited about the country’s role in turning the challenges of today into the opportunities of tomorrow. Our achievements over the past year are a reflection of these ambitions.
Sweeping reforms to promote innovation in the public and private sectors, as well as the ongoing digitisation of the Bahraini economy, has ensured that advanced technologies and systems, including the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0, are driving growth in key sectors.
Bahrain has become the first country in the region to introduce an onshore FinTech regulatory sandbox, which is allowing new FinTech startups and more traditional banks to innovate in the financial services industry. This has taken place alongside the welcomed and significant investment of Amazon Web Services, which will put the power of supercomputing into the hands of regional businesses for the first time.
The Kingdom has achieved much, but there is more to be done. The challenges and opportunities ahead will be embraced by Bahrain and the EDB as we work to deliver even greater prosperity for the Kingdom and the region long into the future.
The Kingdom of Bahrain and the EDB are excited about the country’s role in turning the challenges of today into the opportunities of tomorrow. Our achievements over the past year are a reﬂection of these ambitions.