KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 – The Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in Kuala Lumpur and the Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB) have launched a joint initiative aimed at promoting investment opportunities in Bahrain. This collaboration not only strengthens bilateral relations between Bahrain and Malaysia but also showcases Bahrain’s attractive investment landscape, which is poised to attract both local and international investors. To commemorate the initiative, a luncheon was held, attended by esteemed guests from key Malaysian trade and investment entities across various provinces.
The notable attendees included representatives from the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia, Pacific Inter-Link Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce, the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce, and the Kuala Lumpur International Chamber of Commerce, among others. During the luncheon, Mr. Rashad Alshaikh, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in Kuala Lumpur, highlighted the growing economic and trade relations between Bahrain and Malaysia.
Non-oil trade between the two countries reached USD 251.4 million in 2022, with Bahrain’s total imports amounting to USD 88 million and total exports reaching USD 163.4 million. Mr. Rashad emphasized the determination of both countries to expand trade across various sectors, including energy, Islamic finance, infrastructure, and halal commodities. He regarded Malaysia as a strategic location in Southeast Asia, offering commercial opportunities for companies to expand their regional and global supply chains and operations.
Looking ahead to 2024, Mr. Rashad expressed anticipation for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Malaysia. He emphasized that this milestone presents an opportunity to enhance relations and strengthen cooperation in economics, culture, science, education, and tourism. In conjunction with the luncheon, Bahrain EDB presented a webinar titled “Invest in Bahrain,” where the unique value proposition of Bahrain was highlighted. The webinar emphasized Bahrain’s favorable tax climate with 0% corporate tax, 100% foreign ownership in most sectors, and competitive operating costs.
The country’s workforce, comprising highly skilled Bahraini nationals and a diverse expat talent pool, was also highlighted as a valuable asset for investors. The webinar showcased the success of the “Team Bahrain” approach, which fosters collaboration between government bodies, the private sector, and businesses. This approach creates an innovative environment that encourages local success stories with a global impact by connecting investors to decision-makers.
Bahrain’s efforts to diversify its economy away from oil were also emphasized. The Economic Recovery Plan (2021) prioritizes sectors such as financial services, manufacturing, logistics, ICT, and tourism. As of 2022, Bahrain’s financial services contribution stands at 17.5%, with oil and gas representing 16.9%, and manufacturing at 14%. The collaborative initiative between Bahrain and Malaysia aims to attract investors to Bahrain’s thriving investment landscape and foster long-term economic growth for both nations.