Bahrain - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview
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Bahrain is considered one of the most open economies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  With several free trade agreements, excellent infrastructure, and strong financial institutions, Bahrain is well positioned to provide traders and investors access to regional and international markets.

Bahrain is only one of two Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries to have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States.  In September 2023, the United States and Bahrain also signed the Comprehensive Security Integration and Prosperity Agreement, which outlines a bilateral commitment to grow bilateral trade and investment and cooperate in areas like telecommunications and emerging technologies.    

In most sectors, Bahrain permits 100 percent foreign-ownership of a business or branch office, without the need for a local partner, and currently has no tax on corporate income, personal income, wealth, capital gains, withholding, or death/inheritance.  Bahrain has no restrictions on repatriation of capital, profits or dividends.

The Heritage Foundation ranked Bahrain as the world’s 68th freest economy in its 2023 Index of Economic Freedom, behind only Qatar and the UAE among GCC member states.  Bahrain’s overall score in the 2023 index rose by 0.5 points from 2022 to 62.5.

Many U.S. businesses have done well in Bahrain and are leaders in major sectors such as oil and gas, finance, engineering, and information and communications technology (ICT).

Bahrain’s real gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 4.9 percent in 2022.  2022 also marked positive real GDP growth rates in the non-oil sector which recorded 6.2 percent growth

InterNations, a global network of people living and working overseas, ranked Bahrain as the 9th most favorable destination for expatriates worldwide in 2023, rising from 12th place overall in 2021 and ranking first among the GCC countries.

Political Environment

 Visit State Department’s website for background on the Bahrain’s political and economic environment (