Commenting on the Bahrain-Saudi relations during the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute held in Riyadh, Ali Al Mudaifa, Chief Business Development Officer at the Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB), said that FDI stock coming from Saudi investments in Bahrain has amounted to USD9.8 billion, making up around 29% of the total inward FDI stock in Bahrain, which has reached USD33.5 billion in 2021.
He added that these investments, attracted by Bahrain EDB and its partners, came as a result of the strong economic relations between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, as well as the support from the leadership in both countries. These investments come from a number of sectors such as financial services, ICT, manufacturing, and logistics. The financial services sector had the largest share of these investments by (68%), followed by the industrial sector (19%).
Al Mudaifa pointed out that Bahrain EDB has witnessed strong interest from Saudi investors in Bahrain’s business friendly environment, which encompasses its best-value operating costs, skilled workforce, forward-looking regulations, and advanced infrastructure that connects both Kingdoms.
He expects more Saudi investments coming in the near future in light of the increased economic cooperation between both countries, in addition to the launch of the Bahraini Economic Recovery Plan, which targets investment of more than USD30 billion in strategic infrastructure projects and other priority sectors.
Overall, Bahrain EDB attracted USD921 million in direct investment from 66 companies during the first nine months of 2022. The investments are expected to generate over 4,700 jobs over the next three years in key sectors, including financial services, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, and tourism.