Bahrain's economy grew by 2.73% in the first quarter of this year, while the World Investment Report pointed to a rise in foreign direct investment in Bahrain to reach $1.5 billion in 2018. The report revealed that Saudi Arabia was at the forefront of countries that pumped investments within the Kingdom, which amounted to more than $745 million.
The government of Bahrain announced on Thursday that the economy grew 2.73 percent in the first quarter of 2019, boosted by expansion in the non-oil sector.
The country had secured pledges of $10 billion in financial aid last year from its Gulf allies (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates) to avert a possible debt crisis.
The annual GDP growth in the first quarter came amid an increase in spending on infrastructure projects thanks to the Gulf financial support package, the government said.
According to the World Investment Report issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which was announced on Thursday during an event organized by Bahrain's Economic Development Board, Bahrain's foreign direct investment rose to $1.5 billion in 2018.
The report showed that the growth rate of investment flows in Bahrain reached 6%. It attributed the increasing interest of global investors in the potential of the manufacturing sector in the country to the sector’s high contribution to the economy. Bahrain has seen global investments expand in its industrial sector.
The retail and wholesale sector was the second largest contributor to foreign direct investment to Bahrain in 2018, with investments worth $670 million, according to the Foreign Investment Survey, with the Gulf State known as being an important commercial hub.