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Bahrain Economy


Bahrain's oil production is, by Gulf standards, minimal. The UAE, for instance, produces about 2 million barrels a day while Bahrain's daily production is less than 50,000 barrels. Bahrain does, however, refine a large quantity of Saudi oil which arrives in the country through an undersea pipeline.

Because of its limited oil production, the country has developed a more diversified economy than the other Gulf states. The largest aluminium smelter in the Middle East is in Bahrain as is a large shipbuilding and repair yard and one of the area's busiest airports.

When Lebanon collapsed in the late 1970s, Bahrain made conscious efforts to attract the formerly Beirut-based banks and bankers to Manama and the efforts paid off. In the late '80s, Bahrain's financial services sector expanded into offshore banking though competition in this field from both Abu Dhabi and Cyprus has been stiff.

In the recent past, the government has also begun a drive to attract tourists to the islands.

Economy - overview

In well-to-do Bahrain, petroleum production and refining account for about 60% of export receipts, 60% of government revenues, and 30% of GDP. With its highly developed communication and transport facilities, Bahrain is home to numerous multinational firms with business in the Gulf. A large share of exports consist of petroleum products made from refining imported crude. Construction proceeds on several major industrial projects. Unemployment, especially among the young, and the depletion of oil and underground water resources are major long-term economic problems. In September 2004 Bahrain signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States - the first such agreement undertaken by a Gulf state. Both countries must ratify the FTA before it is enforced.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$28.31 billion (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate
3.1% (2009 est.)

GDP - per capita purchasing power parity
$38,800 (2009 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 0.7%
industry: 41%
services: 58.4% (2004 est.)

Labour force
note: 44% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (2009 est.)

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