Around 1,000 jobs will be created in Bahrain in the coming three years, as a direct result of efforts and outreach programmes by the Economic Development Board (EDB) to attract specialised international companies to the Kingdom last year. The EDB, as part of its official role in attracting foreign investments to the Kingdom, was able to bring in companies representing manufacturing, services, IT and telecommunications sectors in 2014.
In 2014, the EDB attracted more than US$60million of foreign investment into the Kingdom from countries including USA, Japan, UK, UAE, Belgium, Spain, India, Singapore, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Commenting on last year’s achievements, Ms. Vivian Jamal, Executive Director - Business Development at the EDB, said in a statement:
"EDB’s efforts have last year focused on strengthening the business environment and creating investment opportunities, which attracted companies from different parts of the world to establish a base in the Kingdom. Such efforts are parts of the higher aim of diversifying national resources in order to create a sustainable economy that results in a prosperous future for Bahrain’s people."
In 2014, the EDB promoted Bahrain’s investment opportunities and environment, through visits to countries including India, Russia and China. Such efforts led to the signing of more than 30 MoUs and agreements aiming to strengthen business relations with leading international economies and establishing partnerships in various fields between Bahrain’s business sectors and the international market.
Among the leading investments attracted by the EDB in 2014 was Schmidt Middle East Logistics, owned by Schmidt Heilbronn and considered an international pioneer in logistics services. The company announced its choice of establishing an international basis in Bahrain to expand its chemical logistical operations to the GCC market.
Bell Racing Helmets International Bahrain is planning to start operations in the Kingdom in the coming months. The international company will be producing car racing helmets and is looking to establish its worldwide headquarters centre in Bahrain, which will focus on research and development, operations and manufacturing.
Petrology, a joint venture between Sumitomo, De Rijke and Al Majdouie, is expected to start operations in Bahrain in the coming months. The company will be providing logistics solutions, specifically shipping of chemical and petrochemical products as well as offering plant logistics. The company is managed by Al Majdouie, a Saudi Arabian company.
Earlier last year, T-Linx Technology Solutions Architects, a leading Bahrain-based technology consultancy firm, announced it has signed a cooperation agreement with LZ group, a Dutch ICT company and the developer of monPARK, a smart city service which provides efficient parking management systems.
In the Financial sector, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the EDB and Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The agreement looks to promote SME growth in Bahrain by providing support, Sharia compliant products and training, and include the establishing of a world class Islamic Ijara Company to be used as a training centre.
The Bahrain EDB has established a number of international offices in key markets, who act as a first point of contact for international companies looking to invest in the Kingdom. They frequently participate in meetings and roadshows, introducing investors to Bahrain’s competitive advantages, including the strengths of its highly skilled bilingual workforce, connectivity to neighboring countries, and its open economy, where Bahrain ranks 18th globally and first in the MENA region according to the 2015 Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom.