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Annual Report 2009

Building Our Future 00

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Bahrain Economic Development Board

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Contents 2

Profile

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Mission, Vision

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Decade of Progress

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Chairman’s Statement

10 Chief Executive’s Statement 12 Board of Directors 14 EDB Executive Management 16 State of the Economy 22 Bahrain - Among the best to Live, Work and do Business 26 Testimonials 28 Our Growing Kingdom 34 Transport into the Future 36 International Presence 40 One Vision, One Message 42 Converting the Local into International 44 Attracting New Investments 48 The Way Forward

Bahrain Economic Development Board P.O. Box 11299, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain T: +973 17 58 99 99, F: +973 17 58 99 00 www.bahrainedb.com


His Royal Highness, Prince His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Al Khalifa The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain

The King of the Kingdom of Bahrain

His Royal Highness, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa The Crown Prince & Deputy Supreme Commander


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Profile

The Bahrain EDB is chaired by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and its Board of Directors includes government ministers and as well as industry executives, enabling public and private sectors to work closely together. The role of the EDB is to provide leadership by uniting all of the Kingdom’s Stakeholders through a unified vision, and to develop key strategies for sustainable growth. The EDB also acts as a facilitator, helping all of Bahrain’s stakeholders to understand and adopt the changes necessary for progress. In addition, the EDB provides sound project management to ensure that all agreed reform initiatives are implemented in an effective and timely manner. The EDB is also responsible for attracting inward investment into Bahrain, and is focusing on six target economic sectors in which the Kingdom offers significant strengths. These are financial services, downstream industries, tourism, business services, logistics and health, education and training

The Bahrain Economic Development Board is a dynamic public agency with an overall responsibility for formulating and overseeing the economic development strategy of Bahrain, and for creating the right climate to attract direct investments into the Kingdom.


Vision and Mission

Vision We are dedicated to raising living standards by creating greater opportunities for our citizens and to make Bahrain the Gulf’s most welcoming, business friendly location. We will accomplish these goals by working in partnership with the public and private sectors, and by being passionate, professional and innovative in all that we do. Mission Our mission is to grow and diversify Bahrain’s economy by developing a strategy that supports the advancement of a modern and liberalised business environment, encourages inward investment and enables us to compete in the global marketplace.

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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Decade of Progress

Since its inception in the year 2000, the Economic Development Board has been at the heart of reform in Bahrain. Working closely with both the public and private sectors, the EDB aims to improve economic opportunities within the country, and remove barriers to growth. It is also responsible for marketing and promoting Bahrain internationally as a business destination. The milestones below illustrate EDB’s eventful journey and its considerable achievements.

2002

2005

• Establishment of the Economic Development Board EDB under the chairmanship of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince

• Decree issued entrusting EDB with the mandate of strategic economic planning

• Liberalization of the Telecom Market and the establishment of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority • Bahrain Monetary Agency (now the Central Bank of Bahrain) became single, unified regulator for financial sector

2003

• Industrial Policy for the Kingdom of Bahrain completed • Launch of Bahrain’s Economic Reform Program • Started the first privatized Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Bahrain with the establishment of AlEzzel Power Station

2006 • Establishment of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company

• The Establishment of Bahrain Tender Board

• Establishment of Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) and Tamkeen

2004

• National Education Reform initiative created and board established

• Free Trade Agreement signed with the USA

• Launch of the first annual Spring of Culture

• Organizing and hosting the first Formula 1 Grand Prix in the Middle East

• Bahrain Development Bank increases its capital to BD 50million to offer more services and loans to SMEs

• Launch of Labour Market Reform

• Development of Land Master Plan • Key reforms implemented to simplify the process of starting a business in Bahrain


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1

2

3

4

5

6

1. Telecommunications Regulatory Authority 2. Formula 1 Grand Prix 3. Mumtalakat Holding Company 4. Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) 5. Tamkeen 6. Spring of Culture


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Decade of Progress

C BAHRAIN TEACHERS COLLEGE

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2

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1. Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 2. Bahrain Teachers College 3. Quality Assurance Authority for Education & Training 4. National Economic Strategy 5. Business Friendly 6. Bahrain Polytechnic


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As the world continues to evolve, we in Bahrain will continue with our progressive policies by remaining steadfast in our commitment to secure Bahrain’s competitiveness as a leading investment destination. Bahrain will continue to focus on being a hub for investors, dedicating our efforts towards development and progress for the benefit of our future generations.

2006

2008

• Development of Strategy for MICE industry in partnership with Min. Industry and Commerce and Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority (BECA).

• Launch of Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030

• Development of Tourism Strategy Plan in coordination with Ministry of Culture and Information.

• Establishment of Bahrain Teacher’s College and Bahrain Polytechnic receive first students; QAAET undertakes first formal reviews of schools, vocational institutes and universities.

• Establishment of the Higher Privitisation Council to propose and implement privitisation strategy

• Initiation of reforms in regulating and upgrading taxi services and establishment of the Arabian Taxi Company

• Launch of Bahrain’s Education Reform Program

• Launch of Bahrain Business Friendly Marketing Campaign

2007

2009

• Launch of a systematic government-wide strategic planning process

• Development of the National Economic Strategy 2009-2014 in corporation with all ministries and government agencies

• Development a syndication of Bahrain’ Economic Vision

• Initiated work with all Government Entities to develop implementation plans for the strategic initiatives in the NES

• Creation of the MENA-OECD Centre for Investment • Development of comprehensive marketing communications strategy to market Bahrain globally as a business friendly destination.

• Establishment of the National Authority for the Regulation of Health Professions and Services • Comprehensive School and Ministry Improvement Programs started • EDB supported the Ministry of Justice to improve judicial dispute resolution and efficiency of civil and commercial courts and judicial procedures


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Chairman’s Statement

In 2009, we also took another essential step, which was to link the vision with the plans and programs of the Kingdom’s institutions and agencies. This unification served to align our shared efforts by directing all of these institutions and agencies towards the effective and efficient implementation of the Vision 2030. This alignment is what will ultimately enable us to transform the vision into reality – for the direct benefit of our citizens.

H.R.H Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa Crown Prince Chairman of the Economic Development Board


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In 2009 the Kingdom of Bahrain celebrated the 10th anniversary of His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa’s accession. This marked a period of great transformation, which heralded the beginning of a new era of democratic reforms including the launch of the Economic Development Board and Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030. Today we celebrate the achievements that these reforms have brought about – a sustained period of dynamic growth supported by the introduction of development programs and landmark reforms across politics, economy and society in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Economic Development Board’s success in formulating a long-term economic vision – the Vision 2030 – was an important first step towards achieving our goal of encouraging long-term sustainable economic growth. In 2009, we also took another essential step, which was to link the vision with the plans and programs of the Kingdom’s institutions and agencies. This unification served to align our shared efforts by directing all of these institutions and agencies towards the effective and efficient implementation of the Vision 2030. This alignment is what will ultimately enable us to transform vision into reality – for the direct benefit of our citizens. At the time the Vision was launched we were faced with a key challenge when the world witnessed an unprecedented international financial crisis. As a result, many economies across the globe were tested more than any other time in recent history. However, in Bahrain our steady adherence to our national economic strategy, and our tried-and-tested regulatory system, not only enabled Bahrain to withstand much of the crisis, but also ensures that we build a better future for Bahrain. And so, despite the adverse effects of the global economic crisis in 2009, the Kingdom of Bahrain strengthened its competitive position on the world’s economic map, reaffirming to investors our capability and commitment to ensuring Bahrain’s position as a reliable and secure investment destination. Reinforcing this point are many key economic indicators as well as several large initiatives mapped out in the National Economic Strategy, which are now underway. We will also continue to build the foundation

which continues to encourage the flow of investment into Bahrain, with the ultimate aim of creating lucrative job opportunities for young Bahrainis. These are just some of the positive developments we have achieved over the past year, all of which are the outcome of the strong economic foundation Bahrain has built. This foundation is what will enable us to build a secure future, by maintaining the Kingdom’s place as a global and regional investment hub. The initiatives we have implemented provide investors, companies and talent an attractive platform to launch new ideas and grow their businesses, which ultimately benefit our citizens. As the world continues to evolve, we in Bahrain will continue with our progressive policies by remaining steadfast in our commitment to secure Bahrain’s competitiveness as a leading investment destination. Bahrain will continue to focus on being a hub for investors, dedicating our efforts towards development and progress for the benefit of our future generations. We look forward to 2010 with an even greater vision. The Economic Development Board is committed to a comprehensive range of important initiatives and projects – from strategy to implementation. With this in mind, we embrace the active and positive engagement of the Bahraini people, including public institutions, private sectors and civil society, in order to achieve this common vision. We will always dedicate ourselves to building a prosperous and promising future for Bahrain.

Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa Crown Prince Chairman of the Economic Development Board


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Chief Executive’s Statement

EDB has established frameworks and plans to stimulate economic growth through improved productivity, enhanced skills, and support for key economic sectors which comprise part of the export strategy within Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030.

70% the growth of GDP Sh. Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa Chief Executive


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2009 was notable for starting the implementation of Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030, and in support of this vision, the rollout of the National Economic Strategy 2009-2014. In order to assure the successful implementation process, the Economic Development Board took significant measures to align and coordinate the objectives and actions of all ministries and government agencies. Importantly, the EDB also took further steps to work more closely with the private sector in order to improve the investment and business environment for Bahrain, in light of the vital role that the private sector plays in stimulating economic growth, establishing new industries, and encouraging the growth of higher value-added services.

market reform - to create the right conditions for stimulating job creation for Bahrainis. Equally instrumental to this process was the coordinated development of our education and training systems.

The Economic Vision 2030 provides guidance for both the public and private sectors. The Kingdom was first in the region to address the realities of the post-oil era, and its economy has become by far the most diversified in the Gulf region, where oil accounts for only 13% of GDP, lower than that of financial services or manufacturing. The EDB is tasked with ensuring that the private sector remains the engine of growth for our economy, supporting continued diversification. Through the creation of more well-paid jobs for Bahrainis, this strategy will ultimately lead to improved living standards for our citizens.

In 2009 the Economic Development Board continued the international promotion and marketing of the Kingdom of Bahrain. We ensured a distinct presence amongst major global economic events for international leaders and decision makers, which helped to contribute towards a positive flow of foreign investments into the Kingdom and of companies who have chosen Bahrain as their preferred base in the Gulf.

Indeed the economy of Bahrain has made great progress in reducing its dependency on oil, as non-oil products and services now account for more than two-thirds of the total exports of the Kingdom. During the last decade the Kingdom succeeded in achieving sizeable accomplishments in terms of economic development: GDP grew by more than 70%; exports increased by 116%; average Bahraini wages increased by 25%; and Bahraini employment increased by 39%. Bahrain will only fulfill its future aspirations if each segment of society lives up to its respective responsibilities, and plays its own critical role in this process of growth. Both the private and public sectors, including state-owned entities, will need to improve productivity and enhance the quality of their products and services to international standards. In support of this, the EDB has established frameworks and plans to stimulate economic growth through improved productivity, enhanced skills, and support for key economic sectors which comprise part of the export strategy within Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030. Early indications suggest that we are heading to the right direction. In coordination with other government agencies, the Economic Development Board has given particular attention to developing the capabilities of government-owned companies. We will ensure that these entities can compete internationally, by stimulating new ventures to provide high quality services and value-added products, and we will do so in a way which will provide rewarding jobs for Bahrainis. Transitioning the economy, which was based on oil, towards a diversified economy requires courageous initiatives such as those led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Chairman of the Economic Development Board. The first of these initiatives was labor

Due to Bahrain’s transparency, trusted regulatory environment and effective governance, our economy was able to withstand the financial crisis better than many other major global economies. This model of stability is the key to bringing us the sustainable growth we seek. If the private sector maintains these principles of steady foundations and stable growth, Bahrain will continue to enjoy a strong, sustainable economy led by a competitive private sector.

In 2009, the Kingdom of Bahrain witnessed many achievements related to the development and diversification of the economy. These included the inauguration of Khalifa Bin Salman Port, the launch of Salman Industrial City and Bahrain Logistic Zone, all of which mark the Kingdom’s advancements towards its goals of enhancing the productive capacity of the industrial sector, export development, trade, and improving Business Services infrastructure to help remove bottlenecks to economic growth. We are focused on the strategic economic initiatives that are also given priority to: (1) stimulate growth in the economy by enhancing productivity and skills, (2) diversity and build the economy by focusing on existing high-potential sectors and (3) transform the economy in the longer-term by capturing emerging opportunities. We will continue our work in helping young Bahrainis to develop their capabilities and to achieve their goals. We will equip them to reach the levels of their skill and productivity to match the best international standards. In spite of its short history, the Economic Development Board has made big strides. We can be proud of our achievements. Everything we do will always be dedicated to the service of Bahrain and its people.

Sh. Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa Chief Executive


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Board of Directors

Chairman His Royal Highness, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa Crown Prince & Deputy Supreme Commander

Members H.H. Sh. Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa Deputy Prime Minister

H.E. Sh. Ahmed bin Attiyatallah Al Khalifa Minister of Cabinet Affairs

H.H. Sh. Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa Deputy Prime Minister

H.E. Sh. Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa Minister of Justice

H.H. Sh. Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa Governer of the Southern District President of the General Commission for Protection of Marine Resources, Wildlife and Environment

H.E. Dr. Faisal bin Yaqoob Al Hamar Minister of Health

H.H. Sh. Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa Chairman of the Royal Charity Organisation H.E. Jawad bin Salem Al Arrayed Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Sh. Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa Minister of Prime Minister’s Court H.E. Dr. Hassan bin Abdulla Fakhroo Minister of Industry & Commerce H.E. Fahmi bin Ali Al Jawoder Minister of Works H.E. Sh. Ebrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa Minister of Housing H.E. Sh. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Minister of Finance H.E. Dr. Majed bin Ali Al Nuaimi Minister of Education H.E. Dr. Majeed bin Mohsen Al Alawi Minister of Labour H.E. Dr. Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza Minister of Oil & Gas Affairs H.E. Dr. Fatima bint Mohammed Al Balooshi Minister of Social Development H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Meraj Governor, Central Bank of Bahrain

H.E. Dr. Juma Al Kaabi Minister of Municipality & Agriculture H.E. Sh. Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa Minister of Culture & Information H.E. Dr. Essam Abdulla Fakhro Chairman, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry Mr. Jawad Habib Jawad Senior Partner, Jawad Habib Group Mr. Sameer Abdulla Nass Chief Executive, Nass Group Mr. Atif Ahmed Abdul Malek Chief Executive, Arcapita Bank Mrs. Elham Abdulla Hassan Country Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers Mr. Talal Ali Al Zain Chief Executive Officer, Mumtalakat Holding Company Mr. Adel Hussain Al Maskati Managing Director, Al Maskati Commercial Services Mr. Jalal Ahmed Al Aali Chief Executive, Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali Co. Mr. Tariq Jalil Al Saffar Chief Executive Officer, Harbour Investment Holding


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa Chief Executive

EDB Executive Management

Kamal Ahmed Chief Operating Officer


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EDB is an organisation that works alongside government to build a better Bahrain for every Bahraini. We strive for the very best for our country, for our people and businesses. For all of our futures.


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

State of the Economy

Bahrain is ranked among the top 20 nations in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, and the Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom, and scores well in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.

The economic slowdown which became evident in Bahrain through 2009 followed five years of persistent, firm and well balanced output growth. Those years of exceptional prosperity confirmed the value of bold economic reforms in underpinning economic success, and in strengthening the resilience of the Bahrain economy when challenged by deterioration in the global economy. There is no doubt that rising oil prices in the five years to 2008 helped, as did a strong global economy and a competitive exchange rate as the US dollar depreciated. Those five years had seen the biggest expansion in the world output in human history.

Global trade and global capital flows had never been greater. But it is also true that economic reform within Bahrain permitted the Kingdom to expand potential output and take advantage of favorable regional and global developments. These reforms built on earlier foundations and included the corporatization and privatization of government businesses, fighting of corruption in government contracts and in the civil service through the National Audit Court, the Tender Board and removal of impediments to foreign investment in Bahrain, accession to a GCC customs union based on low tariffs, signing of a free trade agreement with the United States, reforms in the labor market, opening up of the telecommunications sector and the establishment of a telecommunications market regulator, and improvements to public and private education.


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

State of the Economy

As a result of the reforms, Bahrain was ranked among the top 20 nations in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report and the Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom, and it scored well in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. Because of these reforms and favorable trends in the global economy, Bahrain’s production of goods and services expanded by 40% in five years from 2003 to 2008. Overall employment increased by three quarters and the number of Bahrainis with jobs increased by over one third. The Kingdom’s economy diversified. Output in the finance sector nearly doubled. By 2008 the finance sector accounted for over one quarter of output, compared to less than a fifth five years earlier. Output also increased in education services, tourism, manufacturing and logistics. Manufacturing output increased 80% over the period, the output of private education services nearly doubled, and the output of private health services more than doubled. The output of hotels and restaurants – a proxy for tourism services – more than doubled, and the annual number of foreign visitors increased by 80%. While it remained a vital component of Bahrain’s economy, oil output was unchanged in the period. Employment in the oil and gas sector (including refining) increased, but accounted for less than 1% of jobs in the Kingdom. As the economy became more open, both exports and imports increased. Over the period exports increased by 166% in value and doubled in volume. By 2008, Bahrain was the most open economy measured by trade share in the GCC, and one of the most open economies in the world. In 2008 Bahrain’s exports plus imports, a common measure of trade intensity, totaled 128% of GDP.

Though oil revenues rose 172% over the five years to 2008, total oil profit rose 150% and total wages and salary income nearly doubled (all in nominal terms), the Kingdom managed prosperity wisely. In many other economies household consumption absorbed higher incomes. In Bahrain consumption declined as a share of GDP from 65% to 59% over the five years. In many other economies government spending rose as fast as or faster than government revenues. In Bahrain much of the additional revenue was saved in annual fiscal surpluses. National saving increased from 39% of GDP in 2004 to 52% in 2008. Government debt declined from 37% of GDP in 2003 to 15% of GDP in 2008. Over the five years both private and public investment rose strongly. The volume of public investment rose 50% and the volume of private investment 135%. Even so, savings rose faster, so that Bahrain’s current account surplus strengthened. The increasing distress of the US and European finance sectors from early 2007, culminating in the collapse of Lehman Brothers and global financial panic in the last quarter of 2008, terminated the biggest global economic expansion in history. Europe, Japan and North America entered recessions. Global output growth slowed dramatically. The US and European unemployment rates rose to over 10%. Commodity prices tumbled, with the benchmark oil price falling from a peak of over $140 a barrel in August 2008 to under $30 a barrel in March 2009. Bahrain’s finance sector had avoided most of the excesses which afflicted Europe and North America, but there was an inevitable impact on the Kingdom.

40%

80%

Because of the reforms and favorable trends in the global economy, Bahrain’s production of goods and services expanded by 40% in the five years from 2003 to 2008.

Much of the strength in the Bahrain economy through 2009 came from manufacturing, which increased output by around 80% over the period.


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The global crisis saw a sudden reluctance to extend debt, a global down turn in financial sector activity, and increasing difficulty in debt funded business sectors including property development. CIO data shows that the construction sector contracted by 9% over the four quarters to the third quarter of 2009, while the finance sector contracted 2.5% over the same period. In Bahrain, monetary policy settings became more accommodating as the global recession deepened. The interest rate cuts in Bahrain were largely in line with US Federal Reserve settings. The policy change was necessary to support the US dollar peg for the Bahraini Dinar, but was also helpful in cushioning Bahrain from the severity of the global recession. Fiscal policy also switched to a more expansionary stance, with the national budget moving into a deficit after five years of firm surpluses. The deficit was partly due to increased public spending as private development spending faltered, and partly due to the downturn in revenue as oil prices fell. Bahrain’s export performance was supported by a small decline in the trade weighted value of the Bahraini dinar, largely due to the decline of the US dollar. Bahrain avoided recession, though growth slipped to around half the average of the previous five years. The slowdown was most evident in property development and construction, which declined through 2009 as expectations of future demand were cut back and financing became more difficult. The decline was most marked in the first quarter, and has since slowed. We expect property to continue to lag through 2010.

128%

In 2008 Bahrain’s exports plus imports, a common measure of trade intensity, totaled 128% of GDP.

The finance sector, which accounts for more than a quarter of Bahrain’s output of goods and services, also likely contracted in 2009. The decline was very mild, however, and was entirely accounted for by weakness in offshore banking in the first half of 2009. By the third quarter and into the fourth quarter signs of stabilisation were also apparent in finance. The downturn in offshore investment banking was related to the general downturn in property development through the GCC region. The domestically focused retail banking sector held up well, so did the insurance sector. Petroleum output dropped sharply in the first quarter for operational reasons but picked up over the remaining three quarters. Much of the strength in the Bahrain economy through 2009 came from manufacturing, which increased output by around 8% through the year. Wholesale and retail trade were also firm, as was the hotel and restaurant sector. Import growth remained buoyant in major Bahrain export markets, particularly Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless the disarray in the world economy at the end of 2008 hit Bahrain’s exports, both through the decline in oil prices and the fall in trade volumes. In US dollar terms Bahrain exports plummeted in January 2009 from an all time high in December of 2008, and bottomed out in February before slowly gaining over the remainder of the year. Even so, the third quarter the level of exports was still less than it had been two years earlier. Though output growth slowed markedly, employment in Bahrain rose through 2009. All of the increase was in nonBahraini employment. Primarily because public service employment declined a little and the finance sector was under pressure, Bahraini employment declined. The fall was modest, however, and total Bahraini employment at the end of 2009 was not far off an all time peak.

166%

As the economy became more open, both exports and imports increased. Over the period exports increased by 166% in value and doubled in volume.


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State of the Economy

Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

After the deep global economic downturn, a slow but durable economic recovery became evident by the end of 2009. Given the weight of offshore property development in the portfolio of the wholesale banking sector based in Bahrain, the EDB expects the finance sector to recover only slowly from the downturn. So too property development will likely remain flat overall through 2010 and recover only slowly through 2011 and 2012. On the other hand, there is considerable investment planned for the oil and gas sector, regional tourism to Bahrain remains buoyant, manufacturing continues to perform well, and services such as logistics, education and health are expanding. Looked at from the spending side, the EDB expects household consumption to continue to strengthen over the forecast period, while investment spending continues to moderate reflecting the downturn in property development. Exports are expected to strengthen in response to a more competitive exchange rate and higher oil prices, and as additional capacity in aluminium and petroleum refining may become available. Import growth will moderate, reflecting the impact of slower investment spending on capital equipment imports and the replacement of some imported oil by higher local production. Global inflation has remained subdued, and we expect this to continue through 2010. In 2009 consumer price inflation in Bahrain was a little less than 2% through the year. We do not expect any substantial acceleration through 2010.

The relatively mild slowdown in Bahrain through 2009 confirmed the durability of its long record of economic development. The sources of its strength remain robust. Over the last decade the average pace of annual economic growth was 6%. Bahrain saving is high as a share of GDP, as is total investment. There is a well developed finance sector and adequate local banking and financial intermediation. There are no substantial tariff barriers against imports. There are very few economic distortions or business impediments imposed by Bahrain taxes, which are minimal. Bahrain has long fixed the dinar against the US dollar, a policy which in recent years has implied both relatively low short term interest rates and some increase in currency competitiveness in respect of Japan, China, and Europe. While there is substantial room for improvement in educational standards, Bahrain has high rates of literacy in both Arabic and English and a high rate of participation in colleges and universities. Women participate in education without discrimination. Though at a much lower rate than men, women participate extensively in the workforce. Bahrainis also participate in the workforce to a much higher degree than is usual for the local population in other GCC economies. Bahrainis for example account for four fifths of the workforce in the finance, aluminum and oil and gas sectors, the three of the biggest commercial activities in the Kingdom – all of which require high levels of education, training and skill

Overall the EDB expects output growth to pick up to a little over 4% in 2010 and reach 5.5% in 2012. The forecasts are shown in the table below.

GDP Constant: 2001 (BD mn)

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

4,734

4,905

5,125

5,366

5,660

6,066

6,417

6,879

Growth % GDP Current (BD mn)

6.3

3.2

4.0

4.7

5.5

6.1

6.8

7.2

8,235

7,692

8,380

9,063

9,586

10,240

11,011

11,865

18.6

-6.6

8.96

8.2

5.8

6.8

7.5

7.8

Growth %

4%

6%

Overall the EDB expects output growth to pick up to a little over 4% in 2010 and reach 5.5% in 2012.

Over the last decade the average pace of annual economic growth was 6%. Bahrain saving is high as a share of GDP, as is total investment.


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Bahrain Performance (graphical format; example below) Bahrain Development Profile

1999

2008

640,604

1,106,509

Real GDP (BD Million)

2723

4734

Nominal GDP (BD Million)

2489

8235

3825.676

7442.325

49.1%

64.5%

4.6%

6.3%

1,644.764

7,112.105

-35.300

848.600

Population

Nominal GDP per Capita (BD Thousand) Accumulated GDP Growth over 10 years 1 Real GDP Annual Average Growth over 10 years

2

Total Export (BD Million) Balance of Payment (BD Million) 1 US$ = 0.377 BD 1. For years 1991-1999, and 2000-2008 2. For years 1991-1999, and 2000-2008

1,200.000 1,000.000 800.000 600.000 400.000 200.000 0

1,106.509 640.604

Population Growth (1999-2008)

80% Bahrainis accounts for four fifths of the workforce in the finance, aluminum and oil and gas sectors

2008

1999


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Bahrain - Among the best to Live, Work and do Business

Bahrain enjoys a very high standard of living with high personal safety, a well established health-care system, excellent infrastructure and cosmopolitan environment.

Bahrain consistently scores high marks for global and regional business competitiveness. Performance in the latest international reports illustrates significant improvements in the Kingdom’s labour market practices, healthcare, education and training. In 2009, Forbes rated Bahrain as the best environment for business in the Middle East. It surpassed others by having the least amount of red tape, a pro-business environment with a favourable tax regime, an open and well-developed financing system, sophisticated labour market and a modern, networked infrastructure. Bahrain’s reputation for stability is further affirmed, it is named the fifth country in the world with macroeconomic stability. With its welcoming culture, Bahrain was ranked as the friendliest country in the

World by HSBC Bank International Expat Explorer Survey 2009, Bahrain was also ranked by Heritage Foundation as the freest economy in the region and 13th in the world. Bahrain’s economy is well positioned and competitive in several respects including low taxation, openness to global trade and financial market development. Bahrain enjoys a very high standard of living with high personal safety, a well established health-care system , excellent infrastructure and cosmopolitan environment. The consensus of these independent reports is testament to the proven measures Bahrain has taken to encourage further private sector growth, economic diversification and to create better opportunities for Bahrainis.


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Bahrain consistently scores high marks for global and regional business competitiveness. Performance in the latest international reports illustrates significant improvements in the Kingdom’s labour market practices, healthcare, education and training. Bahrain Rank

13 1 33 1 1

th

st

rd

st

st

Freest Economy in the World World Rank

1 Hong Kong 2 Singapore 3 Australia 4 New Zealand Source: Heritage Foundation 2010 Index of Economic Freedom

Freest Economy in the Middle East Regional Rank

2 Qatar 3 Kuwait 4 Oman 6

United Arab Emirates

Source: Heritage Foundation 2010 Index of Economic Freedom

Best Countries For Business World Rank

1 Denmark 2 United States 3 Canada 4 Singapore Source: Forbes’ Best Countries for Business 2009 Report

Best Countries For Business Regional Rank

1 Jordan 3 Qatar 4 Oman 5 Saudi Arabia Source: Forbes’ Best Countries for Business 2009 Report

World’s Friendliest Countries World Rank

2 Canada 3 Australia 4 Thailand 5 Malaysia Source: HSBC Bank International Expat Explorer Survey 2009


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Bahrain - Among the best to Live, Work and do Business

Bahrain Rank

5 1 1 20 2 4 th

st

st

th

nd

th

Places with Best Quality of Life World Rank

1 Canada 2 Australia 3 Thailand 4 Singapore Source: HSBC Bank International Expat Explorer Survey 2009

Places with Best Quality of Life Middle East & Africa

2 South Africa 3 Saudi Arabia 4 United Arab Emirates 5 Qatar Source: HSBC Bank International Expat Explorer Survey 2009

World’s Best Labour Market Regulations World Rank

2 Uganda 3 United States 4 Hong Kong 5 Bahamas Source: Economic Freedom of the World Report 2009, Fraser Institute

Economic Freedom Ratings World Rank

1 Hong Kong 2 Singapore 3 New Zealand 4 Switzerland Source: Economic Freedom of the World Report 2009, Fraser Institute

Economic Freedom Ratings Regional Rank

1 United Arab Emirates 3 Kuwait 4 Jordan 5 Oman Source: Economic Freedom of the World Report 2009, Fraser Institute

Most Favorable Tax Regime World Rank

1 Hong Kong 2 United Arab Emirates 3 Ireland 5 Canada Source: World Economic Forum, Financial Development Report 2009


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Bahrain Rank

16 12 5 20 2 1

th

th

th

th

nd

st

Most Liberalized Financial Sector World Rank

1 Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom Source: World Economic Forum, Financial Development Report 2009

Low Cost Location for Doing Business World Rank

1 Singapore 2 Canada 3 Norway 4 United States Source: World Economic Forum, Financial Development Report 2009

Macroeconomic Stability World Rank

1 Brunei Darussalam 2 Algeria 3 Kuwait 4 Libya Source: World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010

Best Countries for Doing Business World Rank

1 Singapore 2 New Zealand 3 Hong Kong 4 United States Source: World Bank, Doing Business 2010

Best Countries for Doing Business Regional Rank

1 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 4 United Arab Emirates 5 Qatar 6 Kuwait Source: World Bank, Doing Business 2010

Bahrain e-Government Readiness Rankings

1 GCC Rank, 1 Middle East Rank, 3

Asia Rank, 13 World Rank

Source: United Nations e-Government Readiness Report 2010


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Testimonials - BD

“With the establishment of a premier maintenance base in Bahrain, we aim to contribute to the growth of Bahrain as the region’s aviation hub. There is a pro-business environment in Bahrain, a “can-do” attitude among the people, which have enabled the SIA team to be assimilated easily and to work well together with our Bahraini counterparts.”

“Bahrain’s strategic location and positive business climate, offers exciting long-term opportunities for our company to expand its core business. We look forward to building on the reputational goodwill we enjoy amongst our existing customers, many of whom already operate in the Gulf region, and the experience we have gained over 30 years of operations.”

“Huawei Middle East Regional HQ is successfully operating in Bahrain with more than 400 Huawei staff living and working here. We do appreciate EDB initiatives and enjoying the warm hospitality of Bahrain. We would also like to thanks Bahrain government for liberal polices and support extended to us. We love our new Home.”

Johnny Eng H.K. General Manager

K. K. Kuah CEO & Chairman

Huang Zhibin General Manager

SIA Engineering Company Bahrain

MTQ

HUAWEI Technologies Bahrain S.P.C


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“After considering a few locations for our Middle East base, we decided to open our office in Bahrain based on criteria such as central location, amenities, transportation links with the rest of the region and the country’s reputation for possessing a talented workforce. In the time that we’ve been here we have really appreciated the EDB’s readiness to offer support and advice.”

“Bahrain is widely regarded as the bestregulated financial centre in the Middle East. Important developments are taking place in the country to widen the scope of financial services and asset management in particular. By having a physical presence in Bahrain Apex will continue to lead the development of the country’s financial services sector and significantly contribute to the establishment of Bahrain as a leading asset management centre”

“ Tech Mahindra chose to open its regional office in Bahrain largely due to the immense flexibility that Bahrain offers in conducting the IT services and consulting business and the close proximity to a large market like Saudi Arabia. The icing on the cake is working with an organization like EDB that makes it so easy for a foreign company to come in and settle down fast in Bahrain. EDB makes the difference in making Bahrain really business friendly.”

Jean-Paul Mollie Region P resident Middle East, South Asia and Africa

Nicolas Angio Managing Director

Krishna Gopal Vice President

Apex Fund Services, Bahrain

MEA-SAARC (Sales) & Global Alliances

Dow Corning


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Our Growing Kingdom

The Economic Vision 2030 defines Bahrain’s aspirations for the future. It is forward looking and places Bahrain’s people right at the heart of the Kingdom’s development.

Realisation of the Economic Vision 2030 and the implementation of the National Economic Strategy

else that the aim of economic growth is an increase in prosperity and opportunity for each and every individual.

Responding to increasing global and regional competition, the Kingdom of Bahrain in 2008 launched an ambitious program of economic and institutional reform to take place in the coming decades. In the year since the Economic Vision 2030 and the accompanying National Economic Strategy (NES) were adopted by the Kingdom, much progress has been achieved in reforming Bahrain’s economy and in increasing the effectiveness of government agencies.

The Economic Vision 2030 concentrates on three areas, defining the direction for government, society and the economy. It is driven by the philosophy that our society and government must embrace the principles of Sustainability, Competitiveness and Fairness to ensure that every Bahraini has the means to live a secure and fulfilling life and reach their full potential.

The Economic Vision 2030 defines Bahrain’s aspirations for the future. It is forward looking and places Bahrain’s people right at the heart of the Kingdom’s development. It recognises above all

The National Economic Strategy translates the aspirations set in the Vision into actionable initiatives for implementation and it aims to identify the country’s most important initiatives that will be implemented over the next four years and outlines actions/measures


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needed to achieve those initiatives and assign clear responsibilities for each action. Moreover, it also illustrates how government organisations are inter-related and interdependent in implementing the initiatives. Of the major reform initiatives identified in the NES, more than two thirds are being implemented by the different government entities. Of these more than half were well on track, and some progress was registered in the remainder. Less than a third of the total number of initiatives had not yet begun implementation - often because they were on a longer timetable and required the completion of other work before they could begin. This record of early achievement in a complex and diverse reform plan affirms the value of the NES as a powerful strategic planning tool. While the successes have been more rapid and widespread than expected, there have also been major challenges in the implementation of some commitments in the NES. The NES was recognized to be a living document, subject to revision and updating as goals were achieved, unexpected difficulties were encountered, and new issues arose. However, the 2030 Vision of a Sustainable, Fair and Competitive Economy will not change. The strategies to attain that Vision will vary in the light of experience and changing circumstances. In line with the two year budget periods 2011 – 2014 for the country, the NES will need reviewing and revising. The first of these biannual reviews is scheduled to take place in 2010. This will be done to ensure that the NES initiatives are still relevant and up to date with economic and fiscal developments, and that that the State Budget is linked to the national priorities identified in the NES. The revision of the NES will also take into account the global and regional changing circumstances witnessed in 2009, which might impact the relevance of some initiatives. To that end, the EDB will work with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the revision of the National Economic Strategy will be aligned with the State Budget, and the four year strategic plans of Ministries and Government Agencies. This revision seizes the opportunity to align the NES planning process with the formulation of the government budget. The two processes share a common set of reform and development themes, a common set of economic assumptions, and a common set of spending and revenue disciplines. While the rolling four year planning time frame of the NES is longer than the two year fiscal framework, all projected NES spending for 2011 and 2012 will be coordinated with spending targets for agencies within the Budget process. The 2011-2012 Budget and the revision of the NES will be developed concurrently.

Public Sector Reform The Kingdom of Bahrain is one of the first countries in the region to commence the implementation of comprehensive plans for public sector reform. The work began on implementing these reforms during the last few years, and has included various reforms in the labor market, economic, and education, as well as reforms to the health and judicial systems. Considerable progress in the liberalization of markets, including the telecommunication sector, power generation, and health care services were also an outcome of the earlier reforms. This coincided with the provision by the government of strong incentives for investment, including easing restrictions on foreign ownership and access to capital, which contributed to the strong economic growth Bahrain has witnessed during the last five years. The global economic downturn and its impact on the region as a whole has had a limited effect on Bahrain. It has, however, led to reviewing and rescheduling of some of the initiatives in the National Economic Strategy. This rescheduling will not lead to any deviation from the overall thrust of the National Economic Strategy, but some initiatives are being reviewed in light of the changing conditions in the region and the world. In 2009, which was the first year for implementing the initiatives detailed in the National Economic Strategy, the Economic Development Board focused on disseminating and spreading the concepts and initiatives of the National Economic Strategy (2009 – 2014) to ministries, institutions, and government agencies in order to prepare the formulation of operational plans for implementation in the next stage. The EDB worked with most ministries and government agencies to commence the implementation of these initiatives during the year, and provided them with various types of support. A total of more than 35 Implementation Plans covering areas in health, public sector human resource management, infrastructure, regulatory environment, education and others were completed in the Government and Social sections of the National Economic Strategy. Partnerships and clear working arrangements were developed with all relevant Government entities to further progress the follow up of all Implementation Plans as well as finalize the method of reporting to the EDB Executive Committee. At year’s end most Government Ministries and Institutions had completed their Implementation Plans for several key initiatives, with the remainder to be completed during the first quarter of 2010. This achievement has set a good basis for the next phase of Implementation of the National Economic Strategy, which should see clear progress on the actual Implementation of all these initiatives.


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Our Growing Kingdom

The EDB has also developed a web-based Reporting tool which is to be used by all Ministries and Government agencies to report on progress of implementation. Below are examples of a number of key accomplishments that were achieved by Ministries during 2009: • A partnership was formed between the Quality Assurance Authority for Education and Training and the Ministry of Labour and Tamkeen, in order to ensure that in making licensing or funding decisions, proper attention is paid to the Authority’s reports. • The collective efforts of EDB with Ministry of Municipalities and Agricultural Affairs, Ministry of Works, Ministry of Housing and the Electricity and Water Authority resulted in the development of a detailed Village revitalization implementation plan. The plan addresses the topic of village revitalization comprehensively. The main highlights of the plan were a unified methodology for defining villages and village revitalization. The other feature was introducing the concept of centralized budget and action plan for a cross sectoral initiative. • An integrated action plan was prepared to create and establish the National Authority for Organizing Health Professions and Services. • The Ministry of Housing adopted a strategy to involve the private sector in the implementation of the housing initiatives. • The Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution was established.

Education: Bahrain ’s future Education was identified as one of the priority areas for reform in November 2005 at a workshop held under the leadership of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, and it has been a core area of focus for Government and for the Economic Development Board ever since. An inclusive cross-agency initiative was created in 2006, with a view to improving the standards of education at every level to equip the nation’s youth with the skills and capacities they need to succeed both in life and at work. Spearheaded by H.H. Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, the Deputy Prime Minister, the National Education Reform Initiatives were supported by the Economic Development Board, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labour and other key partners within the education system and from the private sector.

During 2009 the original education reforms witnessed consolidation with the Quality Assurance Authority for Education & Training (QAAET), the Bahrain Teachers College and the Bahrain Polytechnic becoming fully-fledged and operational and the extension of the reform program into new and important areas. Also this year, the implementation of the education initiatives within the National Economic Strategy commenced, with the EDB working closely with both the University of Bahrain and the Bahrain Training Institute to develop an implementation plans to promote organisational improvement, negotiating memoranda of understanding between QAAET and the Higher Education Council and also with the Higher Council on Vocational Education to implement vocational improvement and higher education improvement programs respectively, and developing implementation plan to promote greater participation in schooling. On a similar note a higher education improvement strategy was developed in association with the Higher Education Policy Institute in the United Kingdom National Qualifications Framework Project Bahrain’s ambitious education reform process received a boost through an initiative led by the Education Reform Board, to create a National Qualification Framework for Bahrain which will help to create a universal language by which all stakeholders in the vocational and academic education markets can assess their training standards. The project will be jointly managed with Tamkeen and an international partner, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, over a two year period. The project seeks to create a framework that will formalize the descriptions of the various qualification levels, the policy documents and the quality control accreditation system for future implementation. The scope also includes linking out the framework to other meta frameworks internationally as well as recommending the body that will take over the actual policy and implementation. The Scottish Qualifications Authority was selected because of its rich expertise in similar projects globally. A National Qualification Framework will help to measure the multitude of qualifications that exist and also more importantly create policies that support accreditation of prior learning. It will also help to bridge the gap between vocational and academic qualifications and allow more learning pathways and translation for certifications and mobility.


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School improvement Programme

Quality Assurance Authority for Education & Training

The school improvement programme (SIP) began in earnest in September 2008 within 10 pilot schools. These schools were chosen from all 5 Governorates and provided a representative sample from all phases of education. A number of project teams from within the Ministry of Education were trained on how to implement best practice in a number of crucial areas including strategic planning, teaching and learning, self evaluation and the collection, analysis and use of data to inform improvement. Improving teaching is central to raising standards in schools and this has been a major focus. School improvement teams, formed from senior staff in the pilot schools have received extensive training in how to engage and motivate students, improve the level of challenge and build independent learning skills. The most recent reviews from the QAAET of our first pilot schools have shown significant improvements.

Since its formal launch in 2009, the Quality Assurance Authority for Education & Training (QAAET) has managed to achieve a considerable number of its goals. By accurately assessing the current performance of training and education in the Kingdom and adopting proven international standards, while at the same time maintaining Bahrain’s individuality, the Kingdom is getting closer than ever to realising the 2030 Economic Vision which is strongly focused on education and training.

As the EDB began to understand more about the complexities of the education system in Bahrain, it tense became clear that in parallel to our school improvement program, there needed to be a complementary ministry improvement program. Consequently 8 project teams were established in 2009 to improve systemic elements such as teacher recruitment, data management and managing the performance of schools. A new structure for support and accountability has been developed. Key roles such as the Chief of school and school improvement coaches have been established and the first cohorts of employees have been trained. This new structure is a major shift in the way schools are managed, and is the first significant step in shifting the locus of control from the ministry to the school, thus enabling decisions to be taken closer to the point of impact. In addition, the EDB is currently refining a new school improvement agenda which identifies the key initiatives needed to complete the reform process and enable Bahrain to have an educational system which, structurally, has the elements of the world’s best systems. The 10 original pilot schools from phase 1 of the program have improved greatly and as more data becomes available, and changes become embedded, more improvement to schools are expected to emerge.

The fact that the QAAET was established by Royal Decree and is managed by the Cabinet emphasises the crucial role it plays in achieving what is asked of it. The main four units of the Quality Assurance Authority (Schools Review, Vocational Review, Higher Education Review and the National Examinations) have simultaneously worked to achieve the Authority’s goals. National examinations were held for grade 3 and grade 6 students and meticulously evaluated, setting the benchmark to improve performance and putting in place all the necessary indicators, mechanisms and guidelines to monitor and review the quality of this performance. During last year, the QAAET carried out reviews of the performance of a number of schools in different stages, as well as of universities and training institutes. With regard to schools, the details of their daily work were reviewed in terms of basic skills, individual differences, higher-order thinking, behaviour, self-assessment, communication with parents, attendance and effectiveness and several other related issues. All these points proved there are solid foundations to build on and that with determination, help and enough support, reforms can be achieved. The Vocational and Higher Education Review Units examined the quality assurance arrangements of providers ranging from governance and management through to teaching and learning and infrastructure. The outcomes of these reviews, as expressed in the review reports, provide institutes and universities with a reference point from which improvement can take place. They also provide the Kingdom with a baseline from which future developments in these sectors can be benchmarked.


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Our Growing Kingdom

Bahrain Polytechnic Bahrain Polytechnic is an exciting new tertiary education institute committed to providing young Bahrainis with the education and skills needed to contribute to and benefit from the economic transformation of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Bahrain Polytechnic was established by Royal Decree No. 65 for year 2008 as a key initiative of the National Education Reform Project Board. The Polytechnic is to address the need for a skilled Bahraini labour force and produce graduates who are work-ready. The programmes provided by the Polytechnic have been developed in consultation with business, industry, professions and international education and training institutions. Bahrain Polytechnic is a bold and visionary initiative contributing to the support of social and economic development in the Kingdom of Bahrain, in line with its 2030 economic vision. During 2009 Bahrain Polytechnic took its second annual intake of students. Bahrain Teachers College The establishment of the Bahrain Teachers College (BTC) in 2008 was an important part of the national educational reforms. This followed the findings of a diagnostic which showed that the existing teacher training facilities were not meeting Bahrain’s needs. Its role is to ensure that the standards of teaching in Bahrain are raised to that of leading nations globally. The College, has been developed with the support of the National Institute of Education (NIE) in Singapore, widely recognized as one of the world’s leading teacher education institutions. The College has a vital role to play in ensuring that the best and brightest graduates are encouraged to enter the teaching profession. The skills they acquire at College will ensure that their standards of teaching reflect the latest advances in educational methods, and will help to inspire future students to attain success and enrichment through learning.

The BTC is an autonomous college within the University of Bahrain. Representatives of the University of Bahrain, the Ministry of Education, the Economic Development Board and the community make up governing board. Teaching at the College is formally bi-lingual, in recognition of the importance of fluency in Arabic and English for achieving excellence in the teaching profession in Bahrain. In September 2009, the college received its second intake of 300 students, an increase of 50 per cent compared to the previous academic year for both the Bachelors in Education (BEd) and the Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) courses.

Legal Framework and Governance The Economic Development Board recognises that a contemporary, continuously reviewed, reliable and transparent legal framework is essential to the success of the Bahrain economy. As global and local business environments evolve, ensuring that the Kingdom’s legislation responds and adapts to meet these changes is essential to securing future prosperity. In addition to preparing and drafting contracts and providing legal advice to other EDB departments regarding agreements to be entered into by the Board with other parties, the Legal Department also provides legal advice to other departments on other legal and contractual matters and on services to potential investors. The Legal Department contributes and assists in drafting laws and regulations related to business and investment matters in the Kingdom. It also works in coordination with Ministries and other governmental agencies on reviewing and introducing the necessary amendments to existing laws and regulations to enhance and strengthen the legislative environment in a manner that is more favorable to business and investment in the Kingdom.


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Objectives: One of the main priorities of the Economic Development Board is to contribute to formulating plans for executing the initiatives included in the National Economic Strategy and monitors the implementation process and in addition assists in the issuance of related laws and regulations. Towards this end, the Legal Department takes part in drafting laws and regulations and reviewing other legal instruments for the purpose of implementing these initiatives. Furthermore, the Economic Development Board provides opinion on draft laws and regulations related to business and investment, whether these drafts are proposed by the Government, the Shura Council or the Council of Representatives. In addition, the Economic Development Board assists the Ministry of Industry and Commerce on resolving legal matters related to the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United States of America. 2009 Achievements: • The Economic Development Board drafted several laws and regulations, including drafting a bill amending some provisions of the Penal Law promulgated by Legislative Decree No. (15) of 1976 by adding a new chapter on Bribery and Embezzlement in the Private Sector. It is anticipated that this will contribute to improving further Bahrain’s rankings in anti-corruption indicators. The Board also drafted a bill on the Conflict of Laws and assisted in drafting a Bill on the Rental of Real Estate. • The Economic Development Board also drafted a bill amending Legislative Decree No. (18) of 1997 Regulating the Profession of Pharmacists and the Pharmaceutical Centers in order to promote investments in this sector. The Board further finalised the Computer Crimes bill and is currently following up the enactment process of the Law with the Shura Council and Council of Representatives.

• The Economic Development Board worked jointly with the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs on drafting a bill establishing a chamber for the resolution of economic, financial and investment disputes. The chamber was eventually established in July 2009 pursuant to Legislative Decree No. (30) of 2009 with respect to the Bahrain Chamber for Economic, Financial and Investment for Dispute Resolution. The Board has since been assisting in drafting the necessary implementing regulations. • The Legal Department has followed up with the relevant ministries and governmental bodies the issuance of implementing regulations for several laws, namely those related to commerce, economic and investment. This follow-up has led to the issuance of few of these implementing regulations. • The Legal Department reviewed the need for Bahrain to be a part of several treaties and conventions related to business and investments e.g. The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Concluded in 1961. Accession to this convention was accepted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and accession process is now being followed up with the relevant government departments


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Transport into the Future

Salman Industrial City The commencement of the operational phase of the new Salman Industrial City in 2009, which includes several key areas in the Hidd area, such as the Bahrain International Investment Park, Bahrain Investment Wharf and Hidd Industrial Zone, and is adjacent to the new Khalifa Bin Salman Port, is a landmark event which will play a valuable role in attracting foreign direct investments to Bahrain. The Salman Industrial City has been named after His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain and EDB Chairman, in recognition of his work and vision to develop the national economy and build a better life for every Bahraini, through his work with the EDB and the launching of a number of national initiatives, including the deregulation of the telecommunications industry and the establishment of Mumtalakat to manage the government’s non-oil assets. The industrial sector plays a major role in Bahrain is economy, contributing approximately 16% of Gross Domestic Product, and the new Salman Industrial City offers a number of opportunities for international companies seeking to establish a position in the combined trillion dollar Gulf market. The surrounding infrastructure including Bahrain International Airport and King Fahd Causeway to Saudi Arabia—and the planned construction of the causeway linking Bahrain to Qatar provide an excellent transport network to reinforce Bahrain’s strategic location at the heart of the Gulf.

The inflow of investments within Salman Industrial City has already reached $3.5bn and will reach over $7.6bn after completion of its various projects, which is a reflection of the benefits identified by international industrial companies in setting up operations in Bahrain and gaining access to the surrounding markets through the excellent direct air and road links. Khalifa Bin Salman Port His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa inaugurated Khalifa Bin Salman Port. The inauguration ushers in a new era of sophisticated port management and boosts the Kingdom’s economic status on regional and international levels in accordance with Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030. The Khalifa Bin Salman Port, occupying a land area of 110 hectares of reclaimed land on the Northeast of the Kingdom of Bahrain, began operations in April 2009 and is expected to quickly become the premier trans-shipment hub for the Northern Gulf and Saudi Arabia. The state-of-the-art BD136.3m Port has a total quayside of 1800 metres and is designed to accommodate a container capacity, measured as twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), of more than 1.1 million TEUs annually, as well as passengers, general breakbulk and roll-on/roll-off cargo. Its capacity is four times larger than the capacity of Mina Salman Port, which has been Bahrain’s main port over the past 50 years. The new world-class port will ultimately have the capability to handle ships with draughts up to 15m, the


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size of which are becoming commonplace in the Arabian Gulf as foreign trade increases and the region prospers. Khalifa Bin Salman Port is the first multi-functional facility that is focused on imports, exports, re-exports, and other value-added economic activities in the region. It represents a quantum leap for Bahrain in the area of maritime shipping. The port is one of the most modern ports in the Arabian Gulf and it will help revive economic activity and attract foreign investments to the region, especially the Northern Gulf. It is also one of the most prominent developmental projects for the Bahraini society, creating a better standard of living for citizens as it offers rewarding job opportunities for the people of the Kingdom. We are pleased to reveal today that about 87% of the workers in the port are qualified Bahrainis. Gulf Aviation Academy Gulf Aviation Academy (GAA), a fully owned subsidiary of Mumtalakat Holding Company was established in 2009 to train young Bahrainis to become commercial pilots. GAA is the first aviation academy to be based in Bahrain. The first initiative of GAA was the High Flyer Program, an intensive training course that will qualify Bahraini graduates with no previous flying experience, and have demonstrated the unique qualities needed to become an internationally certified commercial pilots.

The first batch of cadets commenced their training in 2009. These cadets are the first of 100 Bahrainis who will have the opportunity to become a commercial pilot through a joint initiative with Mumtalakat, Bahrain Development Bank ‘BDB’, Tamkeen (Labour Fund) and is run by the GAA. Starting from October 2009 the cadets spent the majority of their time in Oxford Aviation Academy, England to complete the internationally certified commercial pilot training programme. Once the two year programme is complete, GAA will support the cadets in their job search both in Bahrain and across the region. Bahrain is working to become a regional centre for aviation. Air transport infrastructure is of strategic importance to Bahrain due to the Kingdom’s geographical location and it will help drive economic growth for the country in the future. The programme will help to supply the country’s future demand for Bahraini trained commercial pilots as it develops its air transport infrastructure.


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

International Presence

The EDB was able to penetrate the global media with more positive key messages, putting Bahrain on the international economic map.

The Economic Development Board works on shaping Bahrain’s international image and attract targeted foreign direct investments into the Kingdom. The EDB efforts are particularly focused on key sectors which drive sustainable economic development and, ultimately, job creation for Bahrainis. One of the main functions of the EDB is to create “informed predisposition” amongst senior decision makers of FDI decisions, ensuring that they know about Bahrain’s advantages as a Gulf business destination, and encouraging them to consider Bahrain when entering the Gulf markets. During 2009 the Economic Development Board had actively participated in media engagement and events in Bahrain and across the region, as well as in events

across the globe. The EDB was able to penetrate the global media with more positive key messages, putting Bahrain on the international economic map. Outside Bahrain, the EDB continued to identify and benefit from international opportunities to improve understanding of Bahrain’s advantages for business with decision makers across the world. The EDB has participated in leading economic forums such as the WEF meetings in Davos, Switzerland, WEF Middle East, in Jordan, WEF Summer Davos in China and WEF India, as well as other international summits such as the IMF Turkey. All these events provided strong platforms for Bahrain and will be further leveraged in 2010.


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For healthy growth, just add Bahrain.

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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

International Presence

HRH Chairman’s active role

International engagement

His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Chairman of the EDB, played an active role in taking the Kingdom of Bahrain’s story to a wider audience through effective and well planned engagement with leading international media. This included interviews with UK based Sky News and the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED), both of which visited Bahrain to conduct the interviews.

The EDB’s global communications team worked alongside the EDB senior team and high level government ministers to organise a wide range of media and stakeholder engagements both overseas and in Bahrain.

Following a meeting in Washington with the leading U.S. newspaper, The Washington Post an opinion piece by His Royal Highness on Middle East Peace was published. The editorial had significant influence both regionally and globally, and was cited by US Special Envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell as a positive example of Middle East leadership.

A number of meetings and briefings took place in London during 2009 including with The Telegraph, Business Week and Bloomberg TV. At the same time a wide range of international and regional media made a number of visits to Bahrain, increasing the presence and the positive image of the Kingdom worldwide. Internationally, the EDB attended and addressed a number of business events such as the Singapore Business Federation and Middle East Group in Singapore, the Korea-Middle East Symposium on Future Growth Strategies in Korea, WEF Summer Davos Forum in China, and joined the Bahrain delegation at two World Economic Forums, in Switzerland and Jordan. During the year, The EDB Chief Executive visited the U.S.A for a media and influencer tour. A series of media meetings provided opportunity for Bahrain to communicate its messages in an unfiltered way through meaningful discussions with key influencers. Media briefings were set up with leading New York and Washington D.C. media and with a think tank and policy body. 2010 will see further media engagement tours to the U.S.A.


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Road shows

Business Friendly Bahrain

The EDB participated in several road shows to promote the Kingdom. A delegation from Bahrain, including figures from the EDB and the private sector, visited Germany to promote the country’s manufacturing credentials and opportunities for bilateral trade during the 5th European Manufacturing Strategies Summit. Other delegations led by the EDB visited both Japan and Germany to showcase the state of the art Bahrain Logistics Zone (BLZ) and the benefits it offers businesses looking to access the Gulf, and enhance opportunities for bilateral ties with the two nations.

The launch of the Business Friendly Bahrain campaign in 2008 served to raise investor awareness of Bahrain’s story, and ensure that the Kingdom was top of mind for businesses looking to establish a commercial base in the Gulf. In 2009 a follow up integrated campaign encompassing Bahrain’s key messages in print, online, outdoor and television was developed, along with a high-frequency media plan designed to most efficiently and effectively reach FDI decision makers in key markets such as Europe and Middle East.

In addition, EDB participated in various international conferences and exhibitions to attract targeted foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Kingdom. The efforts are particularly focused on key sectors which drive sustainable economic development.

The high frequency 2009 print campaign kicked off with a new copy-led approach which continued to communicate the Bahrain business story through a multi-execution campaign. It was a business to business campaign seeking to target high-level business decision makers and educate them about our key messages which is in turn supported by fact and evidence. Several print executions were developed in English, German and Arabic and placed in leading international and regional publications, supported by considerable online presence as well as in the outdoor arena in the form of London Taxis. A full collateral strategy was also implemented to cater for events and visiting delegations. In addition, finance-specific fact sheets were developed along with four case studies spanning financial services (American Express, BNP Paribas), professional services (Ernst & Young) & manufacturing (Kraft) which reflect first hand experiences of companies that have successfully set up their businesses in Bahrain.


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

One Vision, One Message

Economic Development Board prioritized its efforts towards generating awareness and better understanding of the concepts, directions and aspirations of Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 and the National Economic Strategy. In 2009, the Economic Development Board prioritized its efforts towards generating awareness and better understanding of the concepts, directions and aspirations of Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 and the National Economic Strategy to all segments of the Bahraini society. This strategic initiative was aimed at winning the support of the people and paving the way for their active participation in determining Bahrain’s future by positively reflecting their aspirations and transforming them into reality for the benefit of the government, the people and the business sector. The EDB commenced work in this regard, with a focused objective of achieving unified media messages across various channels of communication between all government and official bodies, utilizing the right methodology and mechanisms, including public and private media, workshops, forums and public gatherings, as well as other means of media to communicate with the public. The emphasis was on promoting the media teams inside the government to be more focused on

supporting the ministries and government agencies in the Kingdom with their projects and initiatives through effective media campaigns. The EDB has worked to help the ministries and government bodies effectively communicate their detailed strategies to the citizens. The EDB also focused on institutions and youth associations, concerned with the youth sector, conducting workshops for young Bahrainis to introduce them to Bahrain Economic Vision 2030. This initiative was in addition to workshops and monthly meetings that brought together specialists in the communications, media and public relations in the ministries and government bodies within the Government Communications Professionals Network. The objective of the workshops and meetings was to enhance communication and coordination between the departments of Public Relation and Communication in the Kingdom with the objective of improving the government media services and enable capacity building and skills development of the employees towards providing better services to the citizens.


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Converting the Local into International

Education Project Over three hundred delegates from sixty-five countries attended the inaugural Education Project event, held at the Shaikh Isa Cultural Centre and National Library in Bahrain, to share best practices and create a practical roadmap that educators around the world can follow in order to improve outcomes. The Education Project, is an initiative of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Economic Development Board, seeks to create a new community of international educational professionals from all sectors interested in developing new models and standards in education, to address the steadily declined of education outcomes around the world over time in spite of increased government spending. The Education Project was borne of a deep conviction that in order to improve learning outcomes for our children, there needed to be a gathering place for top educational thinkers innovators and practitioners which include: administrators, principles, teachers and policy makers – together the business elite, and particularly the media on whom the conference rely on to get the word out so that they can get the attention of policy makers, as well as sources of funding for the great ideas they will come up with, to accelerate the pace of change. The key objective of The Education Project was that delegates leave equipped with the information and insights, and more importantly, with the commitments, partnerships and backing they need to enable them to make real changes. Bahrain has long had a successful track record in education it was the first country in Middle East to introduce universal education for men and women (over 70 years ago). It is now

working to reform its education system to meet the economic and social challenges of the 21st century by supporting growth and development, and ultimately, providing greater opportunity for all Bahrainis. The Education Project will be hosted in Bahrain again in 2010 with anticipated participants rising to nearer 500 and increasingly from key educational countries such as South Korea, Sweden and Canada. Formula One 2009 Formula One (F1) Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2009 was yet another timely reminder of Bahrain’s pole position as a regional business hub. Bahrain was one of the most watched circuit on last year’s F1 calendar, it is estimated that over one billion viewed the race live on television, helping to raise awareness of the Kingdom as an attractive location for international businesses looking to access the markets of the Gulf and MENA region. The Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix has gone from strength to strength since the first race in April 2004. It is testament to its success and professional organisation that the organizers of formula one race announced late in the year that Bahrain has been chosen to open the 2010 season. Over the last six years, Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix has seen the race developed a platform for business development as well as a global shop window for the Kingdom. Bahrain is a burgeoning business and tourism destination which is rich in heritage, yet still excited about its future and the opportunities which lie ahead.


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Spring of Culture In its fourth year, the Spring of Culture 2009, the largest and most diverse art and culture festival in the GCC, included an eclectic mix of the best international performers and artists from the fields of music, theatre, visual arts, dance, song, poetry and literature including a dedicated Educational Programme of discussion seminars, workshops and lectures. This year the event celebrated Jerusalem as the UNESCO Capital of Arab Culture 2009. The festival comes as a direct result of the EDB’s continuing efforts to realising Bahrain’s full potential, working to distinguish Bahrain in every different field. Culture is one of the key elements of society and to ensuring a sustainable economy. This is why the EDB is keen to support the efforts to distinguish Bahrain on the Gulf cultural map and attract more cultural visitors, a bolsters to the EDB efforts to attract more businesses to Bahrain. Despite recent ingratiation, this annual cultural celebration has established itself as a true highlight of the Arabian and international cultural calendar attracting some of the biggest talents globally. Distinctive cultural diversity was showcased throughout the event programme by a variety of well known international music performers including Angelique Kidjo - Grammy award winner from West Africa, Omara Portuondo- Buena Vista Social Club, Ghalia Benali - Winner of World Music Award 2008, Aisha Ridwan - jazz and blues singer from Morroco, and Dane Zanes and Friends - Grammy award winner for the best musical album for children.

Spring of Culture 2009 also featured a theatrical performance by the famous Lebanese actress Nidal Al Achkar, the Korean Nanta Theatre group and the Salzburg Marionette Theatre. The programme also included musical performances by L’Orchestre National de Barbes, The Edward Said National Conservatory for music and the Qawwali Group as well as many others. Spring of Culture 2009 was organised by the Economic Development Board in association with the Sector of Culture and Heritage at the Ministry of Culture and Information and the Sheikh Ebrahim Bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa Center for Culture and Research, and arts centres and galleries across Bahrain


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Attracting New Investments

In 2009 the Economic Development Board’s efforts continued to attract high-value businesses with potential to generate medium and highskilled jobs.

The Economic Development Board’s efforts are central to Bahrain’s Vision 2030 and National Economic Strategy, designed to encourage the private sector to drive growth, support further diversification of the economy – already recognised as the most diversified in the Gulf – and ultimately elevate national living standards by creating greater opportunities for Bahrainis.

The EDB has the overall responsibility for formulating and overseeing the economic strategy of the Kingdom and creating the right climate to attract foreign investment. The EDB recognizes the importance of attracting new investment to the country. In this context the Business Development Department form the first point of contact for foreign investors, and has two main functions:


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

Attracting New Investments

1- Promotional activities

MTQ Corporation Limited Group

EDB targets companies in its key markets through direct marketing campaigns as well as events and road shows. EDB has dedicated skilled client relationship managers with sector specialties. They meet with foreign investors and provide them with all the information they need about sector-specific business opportunities as well as the general information on doing business in Bahrain that will help them make their decision making process as objective and efficient as possible. Also the team is very well-connected with the private sector and therefore has the ability to do customized visit programs and match-making for those investors looking for local partners.

MTQ Corporation Limited Group (MTQ), a leading engineering services company listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, had obtained approval in principle from the Ministry of Industry & Commerce of the Kingdom of Bahrain to provide specialist engineering services and components for the oil and gas industry in Bahrain and the Gulf states. MTQ Bahrain, a wholly owned subsidiary of MTQ, is being formed to carry out these operations.

2- Facilitation and aftercare The facilitation service works to ensure that companies are aware of all the laws, rules and regulations for conducting business activities in their sector. The service essentially offers “hand-holding” for companies throughout the commercial registration procedure to ensure streamlined, straightforward and transparent processes and to ensure that all approvals, visas, work permits and other related protocols are in place. While maintaining a regular contact with key officials at relevant ministries and government agencies to provide continuous and integrated support for investors, the facilitation service is in constant with the EDB’s legal experts to make certain that all business activity is in strict compliance with the latest laws and regulations. In 2009 the Economic Development Board’s efforts continued to attract high-value businesses with potential to generate medium and high-skilled jobs. During the year the EDB strengthened its international outreach and introduced organizational change making the EDB’s overall efficiency in attracting new FDI into Bahrain improved noticeably. The follawing are some examples:

As part of its commitment, MTQ is planning to construct a state-of-the-art US$20 million facility at the Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP) near Hidd. This new facility at the BIIP will support MTQ’s existing GCC customers and also enable it to develop new customers in the region. When completed in 2010, the facility’s main activity will be the repair and reconditioning of equipment used in the operation of blow-out preventers, a key precision safety device used on all land and offshore oil and gas rigs. The facility will also focus on activities such as the fabrication of structures, housings, flanges and other precision parts. MTQ initially plans to provide up to 110 jobs for highly skilled operators and the company will provide a dedicated training programme for Bahrainis. On completion of the facility, the company plans to employ over 250 people in Bahrain.


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Eisai Co. Ltd.

Tech Mahindra Limited

Eisai Co. Ltd., one of the leading global pharmaceutical companies, opened a regional office in Bahrain. The new office has been established as a branch of its Asian headquarters, Eisai Asia Regional Services Pte. Ltd., in Singapore and signals the company’s increasing presence in a region still enjoying enviable rates of growth.

Tech Mahindra Limited (TechM), one of the largest solution providers in the telecom space and India’s 6th largest software exporter, announced its expansion plans of Bahrain Office. Tech Mahindra opened its regional office in the Kingdom in March 2008 and has now decided to place it at the centre of its GCC wide expansion plans. It will be hiring additional consultants to meet the IT services and solutions requirements of GCC based companies.

Established in 1941, Tokyo-based Eisai is a human healthcare company, seeking innovative solutions in disease prevention, cure and care for the health and well-being of people worldwide. The company currently has six active markets in the Middle East: Jordan; Sudan; Yemen; the United Arab Emirates; Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Eisai’s move to Bahrain is the culmination of a lengthy search for an operational base in the region. The decision follows positive consultation with the Bahrain Economic Development Board EDB.

India based Tech Mahindra is a global systems integrator and business transformation consulting firm focused on the burgeoning telecommunications industry. With wholly owned subsidiaries in the US, Europe, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, the US$ 1 billion Tech Mahindra’s service offerings include business process outsourcing, infrastructure management services and value added services.


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Annual Report 2009 Bahrain Economic Development Board

The Way Forward

In 2009, the Economic Development Board focused on the commencement of the implementation of Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 in coordination with the government entities.

During 2010, the Board will be working to make appropriate amendments to the National Economic Strategy so as to accommodate the changing circumstances and challenges posed by the global economic crisis, in order to increase its effectiveness, and get the expected results. Moreover, the Board will continue to work closely with the ministries and government agencies to ensure the implementation of the initiatives identified in the economic strategy according to the prepared program.

Initializing the strategic paln process for the government entities together with the economic sustainability are among the highest priorities of the Economic Development Board. Therefore, during 2010, work will be made to link the strategic plans emanating from the national economic strategy with the government budget so as to enhance the principle of working within a unified national economic plan aiming primarily at serving the Bahraini citizen, raising the living standards, and ensuring the reflection of the financial requirements of the government agencies on their strategic objectives and the financial policy of the Kingdom to ensure the sustainability of the financial resources, which is the cornerstone of economic sustainability.


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In view that the provision of cost effective housing units constitute a clear priority to the Bahraini citizens, the EDB will support Ministry of Housing in the development and implementation of the housing strategy and the appointment of partners from the private sector will begin for providing housing services, in addition to the follow-up of the implementation of the infrastructure projects within the national economic strategy 2009-2014. Due to the great importance of education and training in achieving the objectives of Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030, the Economic Development Board will continue to support the new educational institutions (Quality Assurance Authority for Education and Training, Bahrain Teachers College, and Bahrain Polytechnic) to ensure the compatibility of their work with the other educational initiatives, develop a framework for the national education qualifications in Bahrain, develop the final forms of the strategies for improving schools, education, vocational training, and higher education and to commence their implementation. Health sector will also take up part of the work of the Economic Development Board in 2010, as, after the development of an integrated work plan in 2009 to create and establish the National Authority for Organizing Health Professions and Services, work will be made to diagnose the reality of the government health services in preparation for developing a national strategy for the development of health care sector, in addition to conduct a study to determine the level of expenditure on the health care in the next two decades. In the context of the implementation of the national economic strategy initiatives, the EDB will work to develop an appropriate framework for transparency and governance to ensure effective implementation of these initiatives due to the fact that these principles constitute a solid foundation for the development of government work. In the same context, work will commence on the institutionalization of government work within an integrated national strategic plan designed to increase productivity in the government agencies. Following the development of detailed work plans to the initiatives of the development of the judiciary, the implementation of these initiatives will commence in 2010 through the development of a system for licensing the legal and to develop electronic systems for accelerating determination and consideration of actions to ensure the speed of justice and improve the factors affecting the attractiveness of Bahrain for business and new investments. In 2010 the Economic Development Board will actively seek to enact the laws it drafted during 2009. It will further review some of the business and investment related legislations to identify the need for improvements. The Economic

Development Board has plans to draft more legislation on matters related to the economic advancement of the Kingdom in sectors such as tourism. The responsibility for attracting foreign investors to Bahrain is among the functions of the Economic Development Board. In this regard, the Board is currently focusing on the businesses sectors which constitute the backbone of the Bahraini economy, including the financial sector and industrial and business services. In this regards, during 2010, the Board will launch a comprehensive international promotion and marketing plan to the Kingdom of Bahrain aiming at attracting more foreign investment and business to the Kingdom through projecting more positive images of Bahrain to investors seeking setting up bases in the Gulf region and the Middle East. The Economic Development Board focuses also on the development of the industrial sector, where major successes have been achieved over the last decade. The national economic strategy looks to develop new industries from existing ones, to seek new industrial opportunities through promoting innovative products, and to continue attracting major international industrial companies to establish their production facilities in the Kingdom for serving the markets of the neighboring countries. To ensure the ability of the Economic Development Board to work effectively, the provision of training and capacitybuilding will continue within the Board to assist in developing the skills of the team and its staff members at all levels and to improve their productivity. The Board will work to adhere to the utmost transparency and accountability in all its operations and make every effort to provide better services to the Kingdom, its people, government, institutions and investors, whether they are local, regional or global. Together with all our entities, we will be keen to make the Economic Vision 2030 of the Kingdom of Bahrain a fact of life in all aspects, but we will not be able to do so without the solidarity of all the people of Bahrain in working for a bright future for us and our children.


EDB Annual Report 2009 - English  

Bahrain Economic Development Board Annual Report 2009

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