MANAMA: The logistics sector’s contribution to the GDP is set to reach 10% by 2017-18, according to Khalid Al Rumaihi, the Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board (EDB).
The EDB CEO was replying to a question at the end of the review-cum-briefing of the Supreme Committee on Logistics Sector held at the Customs Headquarters in Hidd and said keeping in view the sustained growth of logistic sector there are projections contribution to the GDP may surpass the double-digit growth in 2017 and beyond. It may be noted that logistics sector contribution to the GDP was 3% in 2013 and in 2015 it reaches 7% and is expected to 10% by 2017-18.
The Supreme Committee on Logistics Sector, which met after full year of operations, was formed on the directives of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the 1st Deputy Prime Minister to reposition the sector one of the key contributors to the national economy.
The Committee comprises of Khalid Rumaihi, EDB CEO; Kamal bin Ahmed, the Minister of Transportation; Zayed Al Zayani, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and Shaikh Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalifa, President of Customs Affairs.
Al Rumaihi, said that Bahrain’s economy is diversified, with the non-oil sector now accounting for over 80% of the country’s GDP. Mr Al Rumaihi further noted that the logistics sector has great potential, and currently represents 7% of the national economy, according to the quarterly report published by the Economic Development Board. The logistics sector also provides a substantial amount of job opportunities; currently the sector supports 19,000 jobs, of which 38% are held by Bahrainis.
He added that Bahrain’s location gives it an advantage over other GCC countries, with close access to Saudi Arabia – the region’s largest single market – and other major markets.
The EDB CEO also highlighted that the logistics sector allows opportunities to both local and foreign investors. With the decision to allow 100% foreign ownership within the logistics sector, Bahrain’s logistics sector has become a major attraction to investors. Foreign ownership has also paved the way for major companies to open headquarters in Bahrain in order to bolster their presence in the region.