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Market Watch. Pinterest Reddit. Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit Bahrain, and Prince Khalifa after the delegation-level talks witnessed the exchange of MoUs in the areas of culture, space, collaboration with International Solar Alliance ISA. The two countries also agreed on cultural exchange programme. Our talks were comprehensive and included a wide range of subjects concerning India-Bahrain relations," Prime Minister Modi tweeted after the talks. Both leaders expressed their commitment to give a boost to the entire spectrum of bilateral relations.
Before the talks, Modi was extended a ceremonial welcome at Al Gudaibiya Palace here.
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Modi, was received by Prince Khalifa at the airport. On Sunday, he will witness the formal beginning of the re-development of the temple of Shreenathji -- the oldest in the Gulf region. Read more on ISA.
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Summary Still current at: 26 November Updated: 30 September Latest update: Safety and security section and Summary - republished with editorial amendments. See Demonstrations The Bahrain authorities announced the suspension of diplomatic relations with Qatar in June For more information see this Bahrain government announcement In June , the Bahraini authorities announced that showing sympathy for Qatar on social media or by any other means of communication is an offence.
See Sea travel Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Bahrain. See Terrorism You must have legal status in Bahrain when you depart. See Exit requirements You can contact the emergency services by calling Print entire guide. In addition, efforts are being made to attract foreign investment in these industries with technical assistance from international organizations. Investment incentives for the manufacturing sector include reduced infrastructure costs, such as free rental for a two-year period of land in the industrial zones and reductions in electricity tariffs, as well as tariff exemptions for the import of raw material inputs for exports and of equipment and machinery.
The main activities include financial services, government services, real estate, trade, and transport and communication services. Along with manufacturing, the development of the services sector forms an important part of Bahrain's diversification strategy. Financial services, especially offshore banking, is well developed and the Government has continued to pursue reforms to strengthen the financial services sector further.
The insurance sector, which is regulated and supervised by the Ministry of Commerce is subject to similar restrictions with regard to foreign investment. Liberalization is also proceeding, albeit more gradually, in other services sectors, including telecommunications, maritime and air transport, and tourism. Some value-added services have been recently opened to competition although there appear to be no plans to allow competition into basic telecommunications.
While Bahrain did not participate in negotiations on Basic Telecommunications Services, the authorities are considering making commitments under the GATS. In air transport services, gradual liberalization in a controlled manner has been favoured by the authorities.
Gulf Air, which is jointly owned with the Governments of Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Oman, according to the authorities, no longer has exclusive access to some routes under the terms of its charter, although government employees are directed to use Gulf Air's services whenever possible. In maritime transport, the authorities wish to develop Bahrain into a competitive regional distribution centre.
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In this regard, a new port is being developed to add to existing capacity at port facilities at Mina Salman. Some private activities in the port are currently allowed, notably stevedoring; the authorities believe however, that efficiency of port services would be best maintained through joint public-private ownership of port services. Tourism is an important source of revenue, and employment and has grown steadily since the completion of the King Fahd Causeway connecting Bahrain to Saudi Arabia; this is the main route used by tourists to Bahrain.
The Government has also intensified efforts to attract specialized tourism, including sports, conferences, and business meetings, in addition to encouraging visitors to Bahrain's historical sites. Ties between the GCC countries were strengthened and formalized through the Unified Economic Agreement, signed in , forming a customs union between the member countries by Imports from GCC countries are exempt from customs duties; preferential treatment is also provided for goods produced in other GCC countries under the GCC's preferential rules of origin, and for government procurement, and GCC content is included under local-content programmes.
Bahrain receives preferential access to certain markets under the Generalized System of Preferences. Although Bahrain has a relatively diversified economic base, real economic growth must rise to sustain a growing labour force. The Government's structural reforms to open up the economy and reduce the size of the public sector have borne some fruit as private investment has shown a tendency to increase recently. However, the economy is still dependent on Bahrain's small petroleum resources as has been evident from a slow-down in economic activity since the mid s.
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The Government's privatization programme has been slow to start and private domestic and foreign investment, while allowed in several activities, has not taken place in sectors with a major public sector presence. Important sectors such as petroleum and telecommunications are essentially closed to private investment, whereas reform in services, other than financial services, has been piecemeal. Indications are that the Bahraini economy will continue its strong performance in thanks to such factors as the return to normal of crude oil production at the Abu Saafa field, higher world oil prices and strict financial policies.
Notwithstanding the uninterrupted implementation of prudent policies involving the establishment of an open and private sector oriented economy, Bahrain still faces the challenges of enhancing economic growth and diversification as well as generating increased employment opportunities for its citizens. Economic objectives in the medium-term involve continued diversification of the economic base, with emphasis on downstream oil and aluminium activities, financial services, tourism, knowledge-based industries, and encouraging small and medium size enterprises. Generation of more employment opportunities represents another important goal.
In order to achieve these objectives, several measures have been adopted, notably promoting the private sector, mainly by maintaining an open economic system attractive to foreign direct investment, ensuring a well-supervised financial sector, streamlining the regulatory environment, upgrading infrastructure and redefining the role of the government.
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The reform strategy has so far proved a success. It has manifested itself, among other things, in government services and public enterprises being privatized, simplifying administrative business licensing procedures, and promotional activities for attracting foreign direct investment. Aimed at creating more jobs, the employment strategy rests on four pillars. These are increasing productivity by investing in human skills through the education system and training programmes; helping nationals find suitable jobs through employment placement centers; encouraging the private sector to employ national employees; and improving conditions in the work place.
Bahrain's small economy notwithstanding, the financial system is well diversified. As of end, the financial system in Bahrain comprised some financial institutions. This included 19 full commercial banks FCBs , 48 offshore banking units OBUs , 33 investment banks IBs , 2 specialized banks, 19 money changers, 36 representative offices, 6 foreign exchange and money brokers, and 13 investment advisory and other financial services.
Banks are profitable, adequately capitalized, and hold high quality assets. The sound management of Bahrain's banks together with the BMA's prudent regulatory and supervision policies have enabled the sector to withstand the recent volatility of world financial and oil markets. Bahrain's transparent legal framework supports the sector's growing role as a major financial center in the region.
The financial sector is open to foreign investors with virtually no restrictions on capital ownership. The BMA has successfully introduced and enforced international standards and best practices in accounting, auditing, prudential regulation, and banking supervision. The BMA applies a comprehensive and effective off- and on-site monitoring system of financial institutions, complying in general with the standards set out in the Basle Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision.
The Bahrain Stock Exchange is adequately supported by modern computer equipment and information system. The average number of trades per day is about 70, and shares traded in each transaction stand at on the average. Overall, there are 41 listed companies, with market capitalization amounting to around BD 2. Efforts are under way to strengthen the role of the stock exchange in the economy by increasing the number of listed companies, introducing new investment instruments, cross-listing shares at the regional level, and developing automated depository, clearing and settlement procedures.