Bahrain Economy Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker

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Introduction

Bahrain has grown successfully over the past 10 years, due its liberal economic policies, and the clear roadmap that aim to achieve prosperity for the society. The country’s annual real GDP growth ranged between 2.1% and 8.3% over the period.

The international credit rating agency Standard & Poors (S&P) affirmed a credit rating of (BB-) for Bahrain with a stable outlook, supported by the positive developments that have been achieved over the past two years. The pace of economic activities which were reflected on public finances and increased government expenditures to contribute positively in achieving strong growth rates in all main sectors such as infrastructure, housing, health and education, recording 3.9% in 2016. Non-oil sectors, manufacturing industries, and the financial sector have achieved good growth rates during this period, which helped to sustain growth.

The pace of growth across the entire GCC region has moderated markedly as a result of government consolidation in a weaker oil price environment. While the prospect of cuts in oil production may delay a near-term pick-up, much of the regional non-oil economy is likely to see a clear acceleration in growth in 2017.

For more information about Bahrain economy, view the Bahrain Economic Quarterly issued by the Economic Development Board (EDB) .

The 2030 Economic Vision

The 2030 Economic Vision, launched by His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa in October 2008 embodies a comprehensive vision for the Kingdom of Bahrain that aims at creating a clear approach to develop the kingdom’s economy while focusing on the main objective, which aspires to improve the living standards of all Bahraini Citizens.


The vision was launched after four years of elaborate discussions with a group of decision makers in the public and private sectors including government institutions and concerned entities in addition to a number of think tanks and international institutions. The 2030 Economic Vision focuses on crystallizing an integrated socio-economic government vision and focuses on three basic principles which are competitiveness, integrity and sustainability.


After the launch of the vision, the Kingdom of Bahrain began an institutional economic reform program that is in line with the objective of the 2030 Economic Vision. This led to the preparation of a national economic strategy that represents a roadmap to achieve the vision. This strategy is continuously revised to adapt to the international changes and the government’s work program.

 

National Development Strategy

The Government has developed a National Economic Strategy for the planning period of 2008-2014 to guide the direction of the economy and Government. It illustrated the links between government policies, identified key initiatives to be implemented over the planning period, assigned responsibility for the initiatives, and outlined the actions necessary to achieve them.

Since the 2030 Economic Vision and the accompanying National Economic Strategy were adopted by the Kingdom, much progress has been achieved in reforming Bahrain’s economy and in increasing the effectiveness of Government institutions.

In light of experience and changing circumstances, National Development Strategy (2015-2018) represents the next step in Bahrain’s journey toward the attainment of the Vision, as it outlines the medium-term strategic direction of the country in the 2015-2018 planning period.

 

Tourism & Sustainable Growth

The Kingdom of Bahrain, represented by the Bahrain Tourism & Exhibitions Authority   has always stressed on the importance of shifting the tourism sector to be one of the main contributors to the economy. Bahrain has implemented measures that aim to increase the sector’s current contribution to the GDP to reach 7% by year 2018, in an aim to implement the government’s vision towards diversifying the economy of non-oil sectors and to highlight the Kingdom of Bahrain as a regional and global tourism hub.

The Kingdom has witnessed a significant improvement in the Tourism sector in 2015-2016 demonstrated by the increase in the number of visitors to Bahrain from 11.6 million visitors in 2015 to 12.3 million visitors in 2016, registering an annual growth rate of 6%. There was also an increase in the ratio of the number of hotel guests, which rose from 1.2 million guests to 1.3 million, recording an increase of 5%. The rise in the key indicators had a positive impact on the rate of tourist residency, recording an annual rise of 21.7% to reach 2.8 days from its previously recorded 2.3 days. This directly impacted the rate of tourism's contribution to the annual non-oil GDP of the Kingdom by 37%, which contributed to 4.6% of the non-oil GDP for 2015, increasing to the rate of 6.3% in 2016.

In order to ensure providing its services to citizens and tourists with the utmost level of quality, the Bahrain Tourism & Exhibition Authority launched its revamped website in 2016 http://www.btea.bh/ along with mobile application “Bahrain Tour Guide” available on two platforms (Apple, Android).

Women’s Role in the Bahraini Economy

The Economic Development Board expects an annual 5% increase in the contribution of women in the Bahraini economy until 2020 to reach 45.6% compared to the current level.

According to statistics from the Information & eGovernment Authority, the number of Bahraini women joining both the private and public sectors reach 35.7% from the total workforce in 2015.

The education and health sectors continued to be favored by Bahraini women. However, the number of women working in the financial services, commerce and construction increased significantly. The relative growth in the number of working women is attributed to the rise in academic qualifications as the percentage of  women earning academic certification reached 60% out of the total graduates.

In the field of business and entrepreneurship, the commercial registrations owned by women have increased from 39% to almost 41%, an increase of 1.96% during the period (2010- June 2014). in addition, the commercial registrations that have been active for more than 5 years have reached 56% from the total active commercial registrations records.

For more information about women role in economy, education and other areas, read the “Bahraini Women in Numbers – 2015” Bahraini Women in Numbers – 2015  (PDF, 762KB, 36 pages) issued by the Supreme Council for Women .

The Economic Indexes for the Kingdom of Bahrain

The Index The Value
The gross domestic product in current prices 31.1 Billion US Dollars (2015)
The gross domestic product in fixed prices  30.8 Billion US Dollars (2015)
The growth in the gross domestic product the percentage growth for one year after the other 2.9% (2015)
The inflation in the consumer price index (100= 2006) annual change 3.3% (June 2013)
Population 1,423,726 (2016)
Employment rate (the workforce as a percentage of the population between 20 and 64 years of age) 79.0% (2010)
Bahrainis 58.4% (2010)
Non-Bahrainis 89.7% (2010)
Unemployment rate 4.3% (2016)
Public sector debt (% of the gross domestic product) 37.6% (2015)
Current account 8.9% (2015)

Source: The Economic Development Board and the  Information & eGovernment Authority

The contribution of the various economic sectors in the gross domestic product (2015)

Sector Contribution Percentage
Oil and natural gas 13.35%
Processing industries 17.34%
Transport and telecommunications 7.52%
Commerce 4.61%
Real estate and business services 5.70%
Financial projects 17.18%
Government services 14%
Agriculture and fishing 0.32%
Water and electricity 1.41%
Building and construction 7.39%
Hotels and restaurants 2.44%
Social and personal services 6.04%

Source: The Information & eGovernment Authority

 

For more information please visit

The Economic Development Board


Page Last Updated: 11 Sep, 2017