Bahrain’s EDB secured $885mn FDI in 2020

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Bahrain’s Economic Development Board (EDB) exceeded its targets by bringing $885 million of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020 to the Kingdom, despite the impact of the pandemic.

EDB revealed this achievement during the board meeting chaired remotely by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Prime Minister and the chairman of EDB.

The board attracted $885 million as foreign investment last year, which is expected to create more than 4,300 jobs over the next three years. The accumulated investments in the kingdom over the past 10 years continued to grow, with their stock rising by around $1 billion annually.

According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the size of procured FDI compared to the Kingdom’s GDP in 2019 was nearly 78 percent, double the world average of 42 percent. The total stock of FDI in Bahrain stood at $28.9 billion in 2019, as per UNCTAD data.

During the meeting, HRH Prince Salman highlighted the significance of economic diversification efforts as a means to further boost the sustainability of the national economy and help capitalize on the country’s economic resilience, which enabled the country to move forward facing global challenges.

Further, HRH Prince Salman added that the unexpected economic stimulus package initiated following directives from His Majesty King Hamad to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 played a crucial role in accelerating recovery and sustaining positive growth for various vital economic sectors.

The precautionary and preventive measures taken for community awareness and co-operation, while continuing to allow movement for necessities and commercial and economic activities and maintaining open borders for travelers, had a clear impact on reducing COVID-19 repercussions on all levels.

HRH Prince Salman stressed that the government will continue to implement wide-ranging economic strategies and attract FDI in developing the national economy, which will, in turn, allow the private sector to play a greater role in economic growth, create further job opportunities for citizens and enhance the kingdom’s economic and investment position.

During the meeting, the CEO of EDB Khalid Humaidan highlighted the latest economic indicators and developments regarding the performance of the national economy and investment position.

Further, Humaidan showcased some of the most prominent local, regional and international investments in the kingdom, including from GCC, European and Asian companies.

These companies have invested in several major sectors like financial services, manufacturing, logistics, retail services, education, healthcare services, real estate, tourism and ICT (information and communications technology).