Bahrain's economy grew 4.4 per cent in the first three quarters of 2012 mainly driven by a strong recovery in the non-oil sector, and real full-year growth is estimated at 3.9 per cent, the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) said on Tuesday.
The Gulf state's main economic sectors recorded a positive growth last year, said the EDB which is a public agency set up to attract investment and oversee the economic development of the small oil-producing country.
"Growth is also likely to pick up further in 2013 due to planned large-scale industrial investments and growth in infrastructure spending. The Bahraini economy is fairly resilient to external shocks and it is currently estimated that real GDP growth could exceed 6 per cent this year," the EDB said.
Last year's economic rebound was backed by a significant expansion in lending by local retail banks which have remobilized their liquidity after a period of high risk aversion, according to the statement.
"In particular, the kingdom [of Bahrain] plays an important role as a gateway to the rapidly expanding GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] economies, and the opportunity this offers for investors is demonstrated by the strong performance of key non-oil and gas sectors," the Bahraini minister of transportation and the EDB's acting chief executive Kamal Bin Ahmed said.
* Dow Jones