Bahrain is one of the fastest growing Middle Eastern economies. The nation’s government is taking every possible step to ensure that there is growth in all sectors of the economy and not just in the oil and petroleum industry. In 2015, the non-oil sectors, which account for 80% of the country’s economy, proved resilient and grew robustly. Bahrain’s GDP was estimated at around $33.86 billion in 2014 and the economy is expected to see further growth of 2.3% by 2017. Bahrain’s Economic Development Board (EDB) expects the construction and financial sector to drive the country’s growth in the coming years. The first quarter of 2016 saw many major changes and developments across several sectors. Bahrain’s economic report will help you understand the growth of the country in a better way. The focus is on sustainable development.
Major Areas That Saw Change
- Growth of the Non-Oil Economy: Ever since the government announced the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, importance is being given to a shift in dependency away from the oil sector. The aim was to double the income from non-oil sectors. After a slight loss of momentum in the latter of half of 2015, these sectors once again saw rapid growth in the first quarter of 2016. The non-oil sectors expanded by a healthy margin of 3.9%. Construction, education and tourism were the major driving forces, among others.
- More Employment: Bahrain has seen some serious growth in terms of job opportunities. The unemployment rate in the country is very low at just 3.9%. In the first quarter of 2016, the number of foreign workers increased to 582,407, while the number of Bahrainis employed were 160,883, taking the total employment to 743,290. The median monthly wage was registered at BD517. In addition, 50,960 new work permits were issued, while another 60,179 were renewed in this period.
- Greater Participation: Private companies in Bahrain are also supporting the government’s efforts by trying to increase their participation. The new regulatory reforms have also made it easier to invest in the country. The construction sector saw the highest share of regular work permits at 34%. More than 6,000 workers completed transfer transactions to new employees and nearly 55% were in small economic units (companies that have less than 10 workers).
Bahrain’s economic report in the first quarter of 2016 surely gives many reasons to smile for the nation’s citizens. The government’s vision for 2030 seems to already be bearing fruit.