Bahrain’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows increased by US$1.766 billion in 2021, marking a 73% year-on-year increase and surpassing the global FDI average growth, according to the 2022 World Investment Report issued by the United Nations Conference of Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
According to the report, the Kingdom’s inward FDI stocks increased by 6% from 2020, reaching US$33.47 billion in 2021. With a GDP value of US $38.8 billion in 2021 according to the Information & eGovernment Authority of Bahrain , Bahrain’s FDI stock relative to GDP reached 86 %, ranking as the highest in GCC and surpassing the global average of 47%.
Investment in 2021 was primarily directed at Bahrain’s financial services, manufacturing, and mining & quarrying industries, according to the Information & eGovernment Authority of Bahrain.
The World Investment Report focuses on FDI trends at a regional and country level, as well as emerging measures to improve its contribution to economic development. It highlighted that global FDI has recovered to pre-pandemic levels in 2021 and has reached US $1.6 trillion, an increase of 64% from booming merger and acquisition activity, as well as rapid growth in international project finance from loose financing and major infrastructure stimulus packages.
H.E. Khalid Humaidan, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), commented: “We’re proud of the progress achieved in 2021 and we look forward to achieving greater heights by attracting more direct investments across a diverse number of economic sectors, in line with the objectives set under Bahrain’s Economic Recovery Plan.”
In 2021, the EDB attracted $839 million in direct investment into Bahrain through successful projects that are expected to create a total of 4,861 local jobs, including Citi’s first MENA tech hub.