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The Bahrain Economy is Opening Up & Wants to On Board Indian Players No red tapism, near zero tax rates & ease of doing business makes Bahrain a great launchpad for companies eyeing global skies

By Aashika Jain

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Entrepreneur India

The Government of Bahrain under the guidance of crown prince His Royal Highness Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Bin Al Khalifa is trying to change Bahrain's economy and make it one of the most desirable places for investors from around the world. A new prospect with the potential to revolutionize the economy could no longer be away from the Middle Eastern nation. Like India, Bahrain has also opened its doors for the world to come and manufacture there.

At the outline of the Bahrain Startup Week & Unbound Bahrain, which attracted up to 2,500 international participants to know more about investment opportunities in Bahrain, Entrepreneur India caught up with the Bahrain's Economic Development Board's Managing Director Simon Galpin to know more.

Healthy Partnership and Competition with Nations like India

The Bahrain government wants to develop a healthy partnership with India in the field of manufacturing and utilizing the skills of various Indian professionals in the upcoming projects in Bahrain.

Using the investment potential of Islamic banks

Bahrain wants to use the potential of Islamic banks for investment in various startups and fintech companies as Sharia prohibits interest to all loans as haram (sinful), so the interest will be as low as possible in comparison to other banks. At the same time, Islamic banks also want to expand their operations in new fields.

Opening to the Middle East

Government initiatives will act as a door to the Middle Eastern markets for international private players. While planning the development model they have focused on the development model of Singapore and other nations, closely studying the same to implement the same skills for growth.

Emphasis on Startups and Fintech Companies

Talking about how there will be a special emphasis on startups and fintech companies, Galpin said that the government was interested in utilizing the large educated and skilled workforce that they have and will also encourage the people to start up. The government is keenly interested in fintech companies where the people are aware of what they want to achieve. Their belief is that fintech companies are usually started by experienced and well-established professionals.

Low tax rates

There will be no corporate tax and no tax on individuals. Only 5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) will be charged from any company regardless of their nationality of the people running it clarified Galpin. At the same time, the government is looking for other alternatives for oil, a progressive approach, as fluctuation in oil prices and continued dependence on oil can only make the economy fragile in the coming future.

No Red Tapism

According to Galpin, there will be no lengthy bureaucratic process of registration or starting a venture for foreign nationals. The Government of Bahrain wants to make the process really lucid, one that will prove to be very attractive for private players. Globally, there are many accounts of countries where red tapism has been a big hindrance for new investors and investments.

Special Economic Zones

Bahrain has set Special Economic Zones for the investors where they will be given an opportunity to be free in designing the place as per their requirement, which is not possible as seen apparently in other parts of the world. Government wants to show chunk of lands to investors who can use it as per their requirement rather than a working place.

Aashika Jain

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Associate Editor, Entrepreneur India

Journalist in the making since 2006! My fastest fingers have worked for India's business news channel CNBC-TV18, global news wire Thomson Reuters, the digital arm of India’s biggest newspaper The Economic Times and Entrepreneur India as the Digital Head. 

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