Bahrain’s investment promotion agency, the Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB), announced its participation in the Singapore Fintech Festival (2-4 November) with the aim to support fintech and financial services companies tap into MENA market through Bahrain.
During the first three quarters of 2022, Bahrain EDB has supported nine financial services companies to setup or expand in Bahrain, generating US$72.7 million (BHD27.5 million) in direct investments. The financial services investments are expected to generate over 840 jobs over the next three years.
Financial services companies attracted by Bahrain EDB include the leading global blockchain services provider Binance, locally grown open Banking company Spier Technologies, and new regional headquarters for Gulf Insurance Group (GIG).
Dalal Buhejji, Executive Director – Business Development for Financial Services at Bahrain EDB, said: “We are delighted to see more and more investors entering Bahrain’s financial services sector, benefiting from a strong and agile ecosystem led by a forward-thinking regulatory body. Financial services is a priority sector for us to grow investments and create jobs, in line with the objectives set out in Bahrain’s Economic Recovery Plan.”
Overall, Bahrain EDB attracted USD921 million (BHD348 million) in direct investment from 66 companies during the first nine months of the year. The investments are expected to generate over 4,700 jobs over the next three years in key sectors, including financial services, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, and tourism.
Bahrain’s financial services sector is the most significant contributor to the Kingdom’s GDP after oil and is the oldest and most established in the region. Today the sector accounts for over 17% of Bahrain’s GDP and employs over 13,600, with Bahrainis representing almost 70%.
Through the Economic Recovery Plan, Bahrain aims to grow the financial services sector’s contribution to GDP to 20% by 2026. The financial services sector development strategy focuses on five main priorities: creating job opportunities, developing capital markets, strengthening legislation and regulatory policies, growing the insurance sector, and developing financial services and fintech.