Bahrain EDB reports a strong decade of growth

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Bahrain Economic Development Board’s latest report celebrates the success of tourism, services and telecommunications sectors in driving Bahrain’s economy during the last decade. Photo: Shivya Nath/Flickr

A new government report celebrates the success of tourism, services and telecommunications sectors driving the growth of Bahrain’s economy over the last decade.

Titled Drivers of Economic Growth 2000-2011 the report by Economic Development Board (EDB) highlights the country’s strong growth performance in the 2000-2011 time frame.

During this period, Bahrain achieved an increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) by an annual average rate of five percent. To maintain momentum, the report underlines the importance of economic, regulatory, and institutional reforms in the country. These reforms are viewed as important to create a conducive investment climate and liberalise various sectors of the economy.

The champion sectors of tourism, services and telecommunications were able to ward off adverse impacts of the global financial crisis and thrive based on the strength of the domestic economy. As Bahrain continued to achieve strong growth, their GDP weight also increased and overshadowed other sectors that proved to be highly vulnerable. By stabilising its oil output, the country has also reduced its reliance on oil exports and invested in the development of other sectors of the economy.

The growth recorded between 2000-2011 was led by consumption and investment, as the country showed resilience to global economic downturn. Cyclical improvements in net exports contributed only modestly towards the overall growth figure, which was higher than other emerging economies. However, there is no room for complacency as Bahrain requires further improvements in human capital development, productivity and innovation to continue with its growth momentum.

As Bahraini companies seek to explore new horizons in regional and global markets, the authorities need to focus on diversifying the country’s economy and launch new strategic development initiatives in high value-added sectors. Efforts should also be made to improve the efficiency of government expenditure and support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses.

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