Bahrain is keen to invite Indian manufacturing companies to set up facilities with immense cost and tax benefits besides access to the GCC markets. Manufacturing Today visits the country to find out more
By Niranjan Mudholkar
Since the Kingdom of Bahrain is not blessed with the same abundance of oil as other countries in the region, it is working smarter by encouraging other economic activities. Key amongst these is the manufacturing industry that Bahrain is keen to promote by providing a business friendly environment and excellent infrastructure facilities. Accordingly, the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that all requirements of the manufacturing sector are answered. For example, skills development is facilitated through a robust education system and training institutions (like the Tamkeen Board).
EDB is keen to invite Indian manufacturing companies to set up their facilities at the Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP), a 247 hectare business Park that has been developed by the country’s ministry of industry and commerce. The Park is situated in a superb location with excellent connectivity and access to both the Bahrain International Airport and the new Shaikh Khalifa Sea Port in Hidd. The BIIP enjoys direct motorway access to Saudi Arabia, via the 25km Saudi-Bahrain King Fahd Causeway and by 2015 will enjoy the similar connectivity to Qatar.
The BIIP is designed to attract export oriented companies, in manufacturing and internationally traded services, with value added projects that will contribute to creating quality local employment. The BIIP offers zero corporate tax over a guaranteed period besides 100% foreign ownership. It provides duty free access to GCC and 10 other Arab country markets. Saudi Arabia, the biggest market is just 20 minutes away. You are at the door of Bahrain’s new port and only eight minutes away from the airport. This is a significant advantage over free zones in the region which are subject to import duties once the product leaves the free zone. As BIIP is an integral part of the GCC there is no customs duty to be paid for transfer within the GCC. It also supports duty free imports of raw materials and equipment. While EDB is already nurturing local workforce to able to support the manufacturing activities, it is keeping no labour recruitment restrictions for the first five years. Over the past century, Bahrain has led the Gulf in a range of fields, from trading through oil exploration to finance and education. As an investment destination and operating base, this has given Bahrain a sophisticated, forward-thinking outlook.