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Bahrain

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Summary

Bahrain is one of the most diversified economies in the Persian Gulf. Highly developed communication and transport facilities make Bahrain home to numerous multinational firms with business in the Gulf. As part of its diversification plans, Bahrain implemented a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US in August 2006, the first FTA between the US and a Gulf state. Bahrain's economy, however, continues to depend heavily on oil. Petroleum production and refining account for more than 60% of Bahrain's export receipts, 70% of government revenues, and 11% of GDP (exclusive of allied industries). Other major economic activities are production of aluminum - Bahrain's second biggest export after oil - finance, and construction. Bahrain competes with Malaysia as a worldwide center for Islamic banking and continues to seek new natural gas supplies as feedstock to support its expanding petrochemical and aluminum industries. Unemployment, especially among the young, is a long-term economic problem Bahrain struggles to address. In 2009, to help lower unemployment among Bahraini nationals, Bahrain reduced sponsorship for expatriate workers, increasing the costs of employing foreign labor. The global financial crisis caused funding for many non-oil projects to dry up and resulted in slower economic growth for Bahrain. Other challenges facing Bahrain include the slow growth of government debt as a result of a large subsidy program, the financing of large government projects, and debt restructuring, such as the bailout of state-owned Gulf Air.

Central bank

Central Bank of Bahrain

International Reserves

N/A

Gross Domestic Product - GDP

US$ 26.484 billion (2009 estimate)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

30.963 billion of International dollars (2009 estimate)

Real GDP growth

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

5.2%

4.6%

5.2%

7.2%

5.6%

7.9%

6.7%

8.4%

2008

2009

2010

2011*

6.3%

3.1%

4.1%

3.1%

*Estimate

GDP per capita - current prices

US$ 23,466 (2009 estimate)

GDP per capita - PPP

$27,434 International Dollars (2009 estimate)

GDP (PPP) - share of world total

1980

1990

2000

2010

2015**

0.03%

0.03%

0.03%

0.04%

0.04%

**Forecast

GDP - composition by sector

  • agriculture: 0.5%
  • industry: 56.6%
  • services: 42.9% (2009 estimate)
  • (Data released on November 2010)

Gross domestic expenditure on R&D (% of GDP)

N/A

(Data released on November 2010)

Inflation

2008

2009

2010

2011*

3.5%

2.8%

2%

3%

*Estimate

Unemployment rate

2008

2009

2010

2011*

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

*Estimate

Household saving rates

N/A

(Data released on November 2010)

Public debt (General government gross debt as a % of GDP)

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011*

19.2%

14.8%

25.4%

32%

24.8%

*Estimate

Public deficit (General government net lending/borrowing as a % of GDP)

2007

2008

2009

2010*

2011**

1.1%

4.9%

-8.9%

-5.4%

-5.5%

*Estimate   **Forecast

Government bond ratings

Standard & Poor's: A/Stable/A-1

Moody's rating: A3

Moody's outlook: STA

(Foreign Currency Government Bond Ratings; Data last updated Nov 2010)

Market value of publicly traded shares

2007

2008

2009

US$28.134 billion

US$21.177 billion

US$16.933 billion

Largest companies in Bahrain

Ahli United Bank (Regional Banks), Arab Banking (Regional Banks)

(2011)

Contact

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