By Philip Dew
This sure consultant to the industrial tasks now attracting international traders to Bahrain emphasizes the Kingdom's function as a local monetary hub. It presents overviews of key sectors: normal assets, production, telecommunications and estate, and a transparent clarification of the felony and regulatory framework, banking, finance, accounting, taxation and advertisement practices crucial for overseas traders and enterprise companions
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Extra info for Bahrain's Business Environment
Once there is a signature, believe that you have a gentleman’s agreement, because legal enforcement is very difficult. The court system is dominated by Egyptian lawyers applying a Napoleonic system to the inherited British framework. Whilst results may be achieved, time is definitely not of the essence and the lack of transparency compounds the problem. The system has been improved with the introduction of the ‘Summary Action Court’, whereby certain legal procedures may be expedited, eg, it is now possible to retrieve premises from non-paying tenants within 3–6 months, although rent is not seen as urgent.
It is the oldest such facility in the Gulf and is currently undergoing an upgrade to make it more efficient and more environmentally friendly. However, only 15 per cent of its refined exports come from Awali crude; Bapco buys additional crude oil from Saudi Arabia at what is believed to be a below-market rate. 8 billion in 2006, making up more than 60 per cent of oil export receipts. Bahrain’s oil revenues show a very clear picture. Since they constitute almost 80 per cent of total government revenue and a similar percentage of total export revenue, they demonstrate that Bahrain’s attempts at diversification have actually had little impact on the structure of the economy thus far.
Geographically, the majority of foreigners in the Gulf are from the Indian subcontinent. The majority of these workers are labourers and housemaids, although a large proportion of the administration of private businesses is dominated by Indian accountants and managers. There has been growing pressure for ‘Bahrainization’, with requirements for businesses to have a percentage of Bahrainis on the staff and increasing costs being implemented for the employment of expatriate workers. When one combines this internal pressure on costs with the external factor of India’s rapidly growing economy and increasing salaries ‘at home’, one may expect a sea change over the next five years in the nature of employment and administration within the region.