Bahrain has a productive economy with high growth rates. Bahrain is considered one of the most open economies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. With several free trade agreements, excellent infrastructure, and strong financial institutions, Bahrain is well-positioned to provide traders and investors access to regional and international markets. Bahrain is only one of two Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries to have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States.
Bahrain’s Gross domestic product GDP value is 38.57 billion USD (2019) with a 1.8% annual growth rate change, the highest among GCC. At the same pace, it is expected to hit 44.478 billion USD (14.12 BHD billion ) in 2025, and having GDP per capita of $ 23,503.977, 4th highest GDP per capita among GCC.
Infographics by GO-Gulf Bahrain Web Design
Bahrain dinar is the second strongest currency in the world. it is divided into 1000 smaller currency units, in this case, called ‘fils’. The Bahraini dinar is only used in Bahrain and is pegged against the US dollar.
Bahrain government revenue increased by 0.169 BHD billion from 3.094 BHD billion in 2018 to 3.262 BHD billion in 2019, Government spending also increased by 0.018 BHD billion from 4.784 BHD billion in 2018 to 4.802 BHD billion in 2019. The current account balance has a negative figure of -0.794 USD billion, which is -2.059 % of GDP. Oman also has a negative current account balance.
On the other hand, the gross debt of Bahrain in 2019 was 14.992 BHD billion and expected to reach 22.934 BHD billion in 2025. Bahrain has the lowest population among GCC approx. 1.72 million people and the unemployment rate in Bahrain in 2019 was 4%, which is expected to 3.749% in 2025, lower than the current.
For a sustainable and stable economy, the Bahrain government is taking proactive steps, In terms of each sector’s contribution to GDP during 2019, the Financial Corporations sector remains the largest Non-oil sector, contributing 16.5% to the GDP, followed by the Manufacturing sector (14.5%) and the Government Services sector (11.8%).
Bahrain has the highest internet penetration rate in the Middle East (98%). Competitive prices for broadband have also led to high levels of mobile internet penetration. Facebook is a popular social media platform in Bahrain having 66.37% users, Twitter has 14.01% and youtube users in Bahrain are 9.41% of total users.
The Bahrain government has launched several initiatives to grow Bahrain’s e-commerce sector. Start-Up Bahrain (www.startupbahrain.com) provides digital assistance through interconnected systems to encourage innovative digital startups while www.mall.bh allows small and medium-sized businesses to transition their sales position from traditional brick and mortar locations to an online web portal during the coronavirus pandemic.
Bahrain retail market was valued at USD 5.80 billion in 2019 and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 15.62% in the next five years, to reach USD 10 billion by 2025.