By Philip Dew
This certain consultant to the commercial projects now attracting overseas traders to Bahrain emphasizes the Kingdom's function as a nearby monetary hub. It presents overviews of key sectors: typical assets, production, telecommunications and estate, and a transparent clarification of the felony and regulatory framework, banking, finance, accounting, taxation and advertisement practices crucial for overseas traders and company companions
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Extra info for Bahrain's Business Environment
The privatization of state enterprises was officially made government policy in 2002, and the programme has moved forward since then, with divestments mainly centred on the tourism, utilities, transport and communications sectors. One of the largest moves to date has been the privatization of the operatorship of Bahrain’s two main ports—Mina Salman and Khalifa bin Salman Port. A Danish company, APM Terminal, won the tender in 2006. The port sale is a good example of the government’s dual privatization strategy.
From July 2008, employers will be obliged to buy a permit, at a cost of BHD 200 for two years, for each expatriate worker on their companies’ books. There will also be an additional monthly levy of BHD 10. The funds will be used for training schemes for under-qualified Bahrainis and as a source of business grants for local companies. With around 80 per cent of private sector jobs held by expatriates, the scheme should generate 14 Background to the Market significant revenues, but has naturally attracted criticism owing to the extra costs it will place on employers.
There has been growing pressure for ‘Bahrainization’, with requirements for businesses to have a percentage of Bahrainis on the staff and increasing costs being implemented for the employment of expatriate workers. When one combines this internal pressure on costs with the external factor of India’s rapidly growing economy and increasing salaries ‘at home’, one may expect a sea change over the next five years in the nature of employment and administration within the region. Officially, all foreigners are employed directly by a local sponsor, who arranges their work permits and two-year residence permits and is responsible for their terms of employment within the country.
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