Bahrain’s capital, Manama, has achieved a remarkable feat by securing the top spot as the global leader in financial attractiveness for the fifth consecutive year. This significant accomplishment has not only solidified Manama’s status as a thriving financial hub but also underscored Bahrain’s position as a preferred destination for businesses, investors, and financial institutions worldwide.
Manama has been ranked first on the AIRINC Global 150 Cities Index 2023, which evaluates financial opportunities in achieving the ideal combination of highly-paid salaries, low taxation rates and cost of living, and overall quality of life. Maintaining its position on the acclaimed subindex for the fifth consecutive year, Bahrain’s capital outperformed several other cities that competed for first place within the top ten rankings, including Zurich (second), Geneva (fourth), Riyadh (fifth), Kuwait (seventh), and Abu Dhabi (eighth). This achievement is yet another milestone for Bahrain, reminiscent of its ranking first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in Financial Freedom (seventh globally) and Investment Freedom (eighth globally) on the Heritage Foundation’s 2023 Index of Economic Freedom. Bahrain performed well across key pillars measuring economic freedom, affecting investment attractiveness owing to its attractive investment climate and openness to global commerce.
“This milestone ranking consolidates Bahrain’s position as a globally coveted investment destination,” said Bahrain Economic Development Board Strategy Chief Nada Al Saeed.
“Owing to Team Bahrain’s united front in nurturing a business-friendly environment backed by best-value operating and living costs, the kingdom provides an ecosystem that encourages growth and prosperity.” Known for its ease of doing business and highly skilled workforce, Bahrain offers foreign and local investors high-yielding opportunities owing to its competitive operating costs and unparalleled financial freedom, with 100 per cent foreign ownership across most sectors with no free zone restrictions. Beyond offering a favourable tax climate with zero pc corporate and income tax as well as no restrictions on repatriation of capital, profits, or dividends, Bahrain has cemented its reputation as a pro-innovation, economically dynamic environment, boasting streamlined business and commercial processes, backed by the Team Bahrain approach, where government bodies work closely with businesses and regulators to explore opportunities that nurture optimal conditions for business growth.
Bahrain has taken solid steps towards introducing key initiatives that have contributed to the consistent growth of its investment ecosystem, further enabling businesses to thrive, the latest of which includes the introduction of the Golden Licence awarded to large-impact investment projects in line with Bahrain’s Economic Recovery Plan (ERP).
Launched in 2021, the ERP aims to sustainably grow and diversify the national economy in order to maintain the country’s standing on an international playing field. The ERP outlines key economic sectors as areas of strategic priority to develop and drive in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), where the non-oil priority sectors of financial services, information communications and technology (ICT), manufacturing, logistics, and tourism have demonstrated positive growth.