In 2016, 40 new companies invested a total of $281 million in Bahrain which are expected to generate a total of 1,647 jobs opportunities over the next three years, according to Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).
The companies represent regional and international organisations, including companies from India, China, the US, and Germany among others. Of these, 17 companies specialise in manufacturing and logistics, seven in financial services, seven in leisure and tourism, seven in professional services and two in information and communication technology.
In terms of investments, the tourism sector attracted 75 per cent of total investments whilst the manufacturing and logistics sector accounted for 15 per cent, and the financial services sector a further 9 per cent. As a result, the total amount of investment attracted last year was double that of 2015, which stood at $142 million invested by 22 companies.
Khalid Al Rumaihi, chief executive of the EDB said: “We are proud of what has been achieved during 2016. Our success in doubling the investments during last year comes as a result of unifying our efforts with various government bodies to ensure Bahrain is truly business friendly.
“Today, investors in Bahrain enjoy an attractive business environment that offers cost-effective operations, advanced physical and soft infrastructure, as well as the abundance of an experienced bilingual workforce.”
One of the companies attracted by the EDB includes Armacell, a world leader in flexible insulation foams for the equipment insulation market, and leading provider of engineered foam. The company plans to invest around $16million (BD6million) on its new plant at Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP), which will produce elastomeric rubber insulation for the $3 billion heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) market in the GCC.
Furniture giant IKEA also announced its $124.8 million (BD48million) investment to establish its largest flagship store in the Gulf, covering a total area of 37,000 sq m.
Various other companies including CIMC, Euroscot, Mukta A2 Cinemas, Ziraat Bank, Mastercard, Amazon Web Services and Palestine Investment Bank Bahrain have also established new investment projects in Bahrain.