Bahrain said it was introducing a new “golden license” offering benefits to companies bringing large-scale investment projects into the Gulf state.
The move is part of an economic recovery plan launched by the oil-producing state in October 2021 to boost growth and job creation.
“Companies with major investment and strategic projects that will create more than 500 jobs in Bahrain, or those with investment value exceeding $50 million will be eligible for the license,” a government statement said.
Read more: Bahrain’s economy grows by 4.9%, highest rate since 2013
The new license provides eligible companies with a plethora of privileges and benefits, such as priority allocation of land for investments, infrastructure, and services, easier access to government services, and support and development funds.
In addition, companies that hold the license have streamlined access to government services such as business licensing and building permit approval, as well as support from Bahrain’s Labor Fund, Tamkeen, and Bahrain Development Bank.
Other benefits include integrated collaboration with multiple government departments, a designated account manager from Bahrain’s Economic Development Board, and a potential review of existing laws or regulations where necessary and applicable.
Bahrain stated that the initiative builds on the country’s growing investment attractiveness. The latest move by the country is similar to visa systems and other economic and structural reforms being implemented across the GCC region as the oil-rich neighbors seek to attract talent and foreign investment in preparation for life after oil.
Bahrain has been helped by higher oil prices and real gross domestic product grew 4.9 percent in 2022, its fastest rate since 2013.
Non-oil GDP growth was 6.2 percent in 2022, above the 5 percent target the recovery plan had set for the year.
In 2022, Bahrain’s Economic Development Board (EDB) succeeded in attracting investments for 89 projects exceeding 415 million Bahraini dinars ($1.1 billion).
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