Manama: Improvements to infrastructure, new streamlined procedures at the King Fahd Causeway and reductions to the minimum capital requirement for starting a business were among the reasons cited by the World Bank for raising Bahrain’s ‘doing business’ ranking, in a new report published on Tuesday.
The report saw Bahrain ranked as the second most favourable business environment in the Middle East, rising three places to 63rd in the world. The Kingdom continued to demonstrate solid performance and exhibit particular strength in areas related to issuing construction permits and registering property, evident through its advanced global standing, where Bahrain ranked 19th in issuing construction permits and 25th in registering property.
The report noted that Bahrain had made particular progress by making it easier to start a business, get credit information and trade across borders.
The new streamlined procedures at the King Fahd Causeway were largely responsible for the improvement in Bahrain’s ranking for ease of trading across borders as the reforms helped to improve access to Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy. Bahrain improved logistics services through the use of customs automation and by simplifying the inspection and risk management process.
Greater ease of access to major regional markets is expected to boost the Kingdom’s logistics sector as well as to help support manufacturing – one of the economy’s most important sectors.
Likewise, the report recognised the efforts to create a supportive ecosystem for start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Kingdom through reductions to the minimum capital requirement for starting a business. In the last year, Bahrain also introduced an online portal for business registration (SIJILAT) which aims to make the process quicker and easier.
The World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 Report measures business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies. It focuses on 10 areas: starting a business; dealing with construction permits; getting electricity; registering property; getting credit; protecting minority investors; paying taxes; trading across borders; enforcing contracts; and resolving insolvency.