Are we heading towards the golden era of Bahrain’s startup ecosystem? Well, that very well might be the case as the Kingdom’s Economic Development Board (EDB) continues to draw a record number of investments from all around the world. According to new statistics released by the Bahrain EDB, the Kingdom has witnessed a 138% year-on-year surge in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during the first three quarters of 2018. That’s pretty huge considering that the FDI statistics during the same period last year was already pretty impressive at $733 million. This year, that number rose to $810 million (BHD 305 million).
Despite its relatively smaller landmass, Bahrain has proved itself as one of the driving forces of the $1.5 trillion Gulf economy. Due to its superior infrastructure and a business-friendly government, the country has been a go-to destination for many overseas businesses when it comes to tapping in on to the GCC market.
“We continue to see strong interest towards the GCC opportunity – and our unique Team Bahrain approach provides the means to unlocking these opportunities. The region’s potential is rising with solid investments and a growing number of high-quality jobs for Bahrainis,” said H.E. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive, Bahrain Economic Development Board. The EDB CE also promised that the government, with the help of private and public sector organization, will continue to search for newer and more exciting opportunities to “to enhance FDI even further.”
According to the EDB report, FinTech played a crucial role in the growth of FDI numbers this year. Bahrain is aspiring to be a hotbed for FinTech innovation in the Middle East and Africa as the country seeks to widen its revenue sources in the wake of declining oil reserves. The launch of Bahrain FinTech Bay, the largest FinTech hub in MENA, as well as the new regulatory sandbox introduced by the Central Bank of Bahrain, have helped the Kingdom develop a sophisticated and influential platform to draw regional and global FinTech startups.