Invest with ease in streamlined business friendly Bahrain
Bahrain’s government works closely with businesses and regulators to explore opportunities to enhance Bahrain’s business environment and nurture optimum commercial conditions. This collaboration has seen Bahrain take solid steps towards introducing initiatives that create an enabling and innovative ecosystem, which allows businesses to thrive.
Liberalised business activities
Bahrain has allowed 100% foreign ownership for most activities, and is the only GCC state to permit freedom across all sectors and in which the entire country is effectively a free zone.
Abolition of minimum capital requirements
Bahrain has reduced minimum capital requirements, which resulted in lower costs and made it easier to set-up and operate businesses in the Bahrain.
Online business registration
Sijilat is an online business registration portal that offers businesses a seamless set-up experience with streamlined licensing procedures and reduced registration times.
Multiple new infrastructure and policy developments, in addition to a constant monitoring and improvement of existing infrastructure and procedures, are greatly improving Bahrain’s connectedness.
Dedicated 24-hour customs clearance and account managers at Bahrain Logistics Zone have made it a superior regional hub with an over 80% occupancy rate. Streamlining of procedures has supplemented infrastructure developments at King Fahd Causeway, where an additional causeway is under talks to connect Bahrain to Saudi Arabia. Khalifa Bin Salman Port, since its recent IPO, has been welcoming some of the largest container ships in the region to connect to Bahrain’s multimodal hub.
Ongoing reforms result in fastest customs clearance in the GCC
truck turnaround time at Khalifa Bin Salman Port
Container clearance time
Customs clearance at King Fahd Causeway
Port in the GCC: Khalifa Bin Salman Port
Reductions in visa fees and the simplification of application procedures have greatly reduced burdens on companies looking to hire foreign nationals, and have driven a surge in the numbers of visitors to Bahrain.
80% lower visa fees
This significant reduction makes Bahrain more accessible.
to Bahrain in 2018
Due to new immigration policies, there has been a 8% year-on-year growth in visitors and strong future trend indicators.
E-visas for tourists
116 nationalities are now eligible for e-visa applications.
launched in Bahrain
Granted to investors with a Temporary Commercial Registration Certificate, allowing for 90 day visits through an online application.
Improving financial access
Bahrain is the first in the region to implement new financial services laws concerning Trusts, Invested Limited Partnerships, and Protected Cell Companies, aimed to introduce more flexible funding structures.
The Trusts Law creates a legal framework for the creation of a trust and its liabilities, and allows the establishment of trusts for charitable and non-charitable purposes, as well as ‘Purpose Trusts’. It is a limited liability law that supports greater activities within the financial services sector and offers opportunities for expansion.
Protected cell companies law
This law introduces Protected Cell Companies (PCC) in Collective Investment Undertaking, Private Investment Undertaking, Securitisation and Insurance Captives. It strengthens investors’ rights in separating their private assets from the company running their chosen fund and lowers operational costs – allowing investors to set-up and liquidate cells more efficiently.
Investment limited partnership law
Bahrain is the first GCC country to introduce an Investment Limited Partnership Law nationwide, offering investors new financing structures that make it easier to raise capital and establish financial investment funds.
Bahrain Investment Market
The Bahrain Investment Market is an equity for growing business ventures in both Bahrain and the MENA region. It supports companies who are looking to raise capital to fund future growth, such as entrepreneurial ventures and mature family businesses. It offers easier admission and financial disclosure rules, access to global investors, guidance services through advisory firms, and a dedicated Tamkeen support programme.
The time to invest is now.
The EDB and the Government of Bahrain are committed to drawing in the best of the newest wave of entrepreneurs. Bahrain has created multiple initiatives to attract and nurture these businesses, with a focus on creating a startup-centric ecosystem with supportive policies, high availability of business resources, and advanced ICT networks.
FinTech Regulatory Sandbox
Crafted by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) as a regulatory and ecosystem framework to enable FinTech businesses to thrive, this virtual space will be open for companies to test innovative new products over the course of 9–12 months and to then deploy them in Bahrain.
The space will be open to all existing CBB licensees and also local and foreign unlicensed companies, helping to create the foundation for a new wave of financial innovation.
Fast becoming known as Silicon Island, Bahrain has the best ICT infrastructure and penetration in the GCC, supportive visa policies, an empowered and talented local workforce, and the lowest operating costs in the region.
Combined with innovative new regulatory frameworks such as the FinTech regulatory sandbox, the Kingdom is building on its established success of attracting the latest startups into its thriving ecosystem.
A commitment to Bahrain’s future growth
A future that’s more profitable for you
Thanks to Bahrain’s long-term economic vision, a deliberate blend of prudence and imagination has created sustained, controlled growth with low inflation and price stability.
Embracing an outlook of opportunity
National development rests on the guiding principles of sustainability, competitiveness, and fairness. The National Development Strategy is Bahrain’s action-plan making this into a reality.
Arab Oil Exporters (Source: International Monetary Fund)
The smart approach to diversity
As the first Gulf state to move away from dependence on oil, Bahrain has become the region’s most diversified economy. In particular, our country has become the region’s leading financial centre since the 1980s.
Arab Oil Exporters (Source: International Monetary Fund)
A clear roadmap for quality and prosperity
Bahrain has established itself as a regional pioneer: with demonstrated commitment towards creating the conditions for business to flourish, a long history of diversification, a progressive outlook for the future.
Bahrain is an innovation hub that has established itself as a highly diversified economy
A few highlights of EDB-backed diversification policies and initiatives
Empowering trade policies and practices
Liberalisation of the telecoms sector
Supervising all tendering related to the public sector
Managing non-oil assets to increase diversity of revenues
Backing educational reforms to boost human capital
Pioneering a high-tech competitive landscape
Bahrain concentrates on sectors that flow from our natural advantages
If you operate in the following sectors of focus, we offer clear opportunities to outperform your competitors, just like the major companies who already operate here.