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A REPORT PUBLISHED by the World Economic Forum (WEF) concluded that Bahrain has the fourth most favourable tax regime in the world, out of the 55 leading economies surveyed. The Financial Development Report ranked Bahrain 27th, overall, in terms of its financial system, up from 28th in 2008. It concluded that Bahrain “shows competitive advantages in the quality of its institutional environment, including a substantially liberalized financial sector and solid corporate governance.”
As a result of its open, well-regulated economy, Bahrain is ranked as having the fourth most favourable tax regime, 12th in terms of being a low cost location to do business and was hailed for its substantially liberalised financial sector (16th) and solid corporate governance (20th). The report also gave Bahrain high marks for liberalisation of the domestic financial sector, with Bahrain being ranked 1st for corporate governance and 2nd for private monitoring of the banking industry. Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) which has the overall responsibility for formulating and overseeing the economic strategy of the Kingdom and for creating the right climate to attract inward foreign investment, commented, “Our performance in this year’s report illustrates Bahrain’s competitive advantage worldwide, particularly the favourable tax structure, sophisticated regulatory framework and reputation for transparency.
Add to this our low operating costs and Bahrain is a very attractive place to do business.” Bahrain’s strong position is testament to the efforts of the EDB and progressive policies introduced by the government in recent years, offering low taxes, robust and effective regulation, and a domestic environment which allows 100 per cent foreign ownership of financial institutions. By implementing these measures, Bahrain has created an attractive business environment for international investors and