Manama, June 22: Bahrain’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows increased by $1.007 billion in 2020, according to the latest World Investment Report (WIR 2021) from the UN Conference of Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The annual report charts global investment flows, analyses trade trends, and examines government policies that seek to expand world trade.
The report highlighted that global FDI contracted by 35% to $1 trillion in 2020, with an expectation for flows to bottom out and increase by 10-15% in 2021. Despite global trends, Bahrain experienced a 3.3% increase in inward FDI stocks, reaching $31.7 billion in 2020.
Also highlighted was Bahrain’s stock to GDP ratio, where Bahrain’s inward FDI stocks relative to GDP reached 92%, the highest ranking in the GCC and surpassing the global average of 49%.
The report recognised the Government of Bahrain’s plans to continue implementing wide-ranging reforms to attract direct investments and link it to its national development and economic diversification plans.
A wide range of sectors drove investment, further demonstrating Bahrain’s strides in diversifying the non-oil sector. Some of the sectors mentioned in the report include manufacturing, education, healthcare, and information technology industries.
H.E. Khalid Humaidan, Chief Executive of Bahrain Economic Development Board, commented: “Despite the challenges that COVID-19 has brought to economies around the world, we were able to carry the momentum from the previous year and attract hundreds of millions of dollars in investment into the country. We are looking forward to continue working with our partners to attract investment into the Kingdom and support existing companies expand, further diversifying our economy and creating jobs in the local market.” The EDB is the government’s Investment Promotion Agency, mandated to attract investments into Bahrain and continue to drive economic diversification and create jobs in the local market.