Those familiar with Bahrain will be well aware of the kingdom’s political issues and their impact on the business environment. When civil unrest swept through Bahrain in February 2011, the spectre of prolonged political and economic uncertainty forced a number of international investors and businesses to rethink their positions in the country.
Four years on from Bahrain’s iteration of the Arab spring, the kingdom’s fortunes have brightened considerably. Though Bahrain faces intense competition from its neighbours in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Kingdom’s position as a regional business hub has been reaffirmed as stability and growth has been restored.
Nonetheless, Bahrain still faces tough challenges. The kingdom is shrugging off the legacy of 2011 and social tensions and deep political divisions persist. Meanwhile, the collapse of the oil price has mounted pressure on the fiscal account and cast a shadow over the macroeconomic outlook.
However, Bahrain holds significant promise: its skilled labour force, favourable environment for foreign investment, and strategic location next door to the industrial heartland of Saudi Arabia are considerable advantages.
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