UAE-Bahrain trade leaps more than 75% in Q2 as supply chains reopen - GulfToday

UAE-Bahrain trade leaps more than 75% in Q2 as supply chains reopen


A stupendous view of the City of Wonders. The UAE and Bahrain trade has reached $672 m in the second quarter of this year.

Trade between the UAE and Bahrain has seen a significant rebound since the pandemic with non-oil bilateral trade between the countries increasing by 75% year-on-year in Q2 2021.

UAE-Bahrain trade reached $672 million in the second quarter of this year, accounting for around 40% of Bahrain’s GCC trade, according to the latest figures released by Bahrain’s eGovernment and Information Authority.

Only Saudi Arabia traded more with Bahrain, with the total value of exports and imports between the two kingdoms reaching $781 million during the quarter. Trade between Oman and Bahrain stood at $141 million. Oman was followed by Kuwait, which recorded $99 million in bilateral trade in Q2 2021.

Trade between the GCC and Bahrain reached a total value of $1.69 billion in Q2 2021, marking a 38% increase compared to the same quarter last year, the data showed. International trade was severely hampered in Q2 2020 as lockdowns caused borders to close and significantly disrupted supply chains.

Bahrain-GCC trade for the first half of 2021 reached around $3.45 billion up from $2.88 billion in H1 2020.

Ali Al Mudaifa, Executive Director of Bahrain’s Economic Development Board, said: “We are very pleased to see non-oil trade between the UAE and Bahrain recovering so strongly. These regional figures are a clear indication of our appetite for growth and our determination in our response to the pandemic’s economic challenges.”

He added: “Bahrain’s strong rebound from the pandemic demonstrates the continuing integrity of our robust supply chains and illustrates our position as a key logistical hub in the Gulf region. Companies here benefit from a competitive business environment, the region’s best-value operating costs and one of the most skilled workforces. The Kingdom also offers 100% foreign ownership in most business sectors.”

Some of the biggest exports to the UAE, aside from iron ore and aluminium products, included cheese and biscuits manufactured in Bahrain’s multi-million-dollar mega factories. Within the region, Bahrain is rapidly emerging as an FMCG leader, with global FMCG giants like Arla, Mondelez, Kimberly Clark and Reckitt Benckiser selecting the Kingdom as their regional manufacturing base and distribution hub.

The value of Bahrain’s global exports spiked by more than 70% year-on-year, reaching $1.12 billion by the end of the second quarter. Import values fell by around 8% to just over $1 billion.

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is an investment promotion agency with overall responsibility for attracting investment into the Kingdom and supporting initiatives that enhance the investment climate.

The EDB works with the government and both current and prospective investors, in order to ensure that Bahrain’s investment climate is attractive, to communicate the key strengths, and to identify where opportunities exist for further economic growth through investment.

The EDB focuses on several economic sectors that capitalise on Bahrain’s competitive advantages and provide significant investment opportunities. These sectors include financial services, manufacturing, technology and innovation, tourism, education, healthcare, logistics and transport.

Meanwhile, Bahrain Bourse (BHB) last month announced its collaboration with Oxford Business Group (OBG) to produce a series of individual reports and other research tools to track the environmental, social and governance (ESG) journeys of companies listed on Bahrain Bourse.

The reports marks the latest addition to OBG’s suite of bespoke resources and are a reflection of the growing importance that firms are attaching to ESG as they plot their recovery from the impact of Covid-19 and prepare their plans for growth.

BHB’s bid to encourage ESG disclosure amongst listed companies will be a key focus. OBG research will analyze the steps publicly listed companies are taking to adopt and fully embrace Environmental, Social, and Governance disclosures.

Commenting on the partnership, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Marwa Al-Maskati said that “Assisting listed companies in their ESG journey and meeting the changing investor demands - both of which are core activities for Bahrain Bourse - had sharpened the focus on the importance of ESG disclosures.”

Jana Treeck, OBG’s Managing Director, said that by incorporating ESG disclosures into their plans, listed companies are supporting the potential capital market classification of Bahrain into an emerging market status through positioning the market within the radars of international institutional investors.

“Bahrain Bourse’s efforts to highlight the importance of ESG reporting is already delivering results, with 33% of companies listed on the exchange - accounting for 77% of the market cap –are reporting on ESG,” Treeck said. “As the financial market continues to deepen, we expect to see Bahrain Bourse increase its contribution to the country’s recovery from the twin shocks of Covid-19 and lower oil prices, with the economy benefiting from greater private-sector participation.”

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