The fDi Intelligence division of the Financial Times has named Manama a top 10 ‘Global City of the Future’ in an annual report released today.
The shortlist was compiled using data from 130 countries under five categories – economic potential, business friendliness, human capital and lifestyle, cost effectiveness and connectivity. Manama ranked 6th overall, 3rd for human capital and lifestyle, 4th for cost effectiveness, 7th for connectivity, and 8th for business friendliness in the small and mid-sized cities category. Manama was the leading city in the Middle East and North Africa in the category, ahead of neighbouring cities in the region.
HE Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications and Acting Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board (EDB), commented:
"We are delighted that Manama has been recognised as one of the leading small and mid-sized Global Cities of the Future and first in the Middle East.
"The combination of rapid growth in the GCC, and Bahrain’s strengths as a business hub has helped us attract nearly US$1 billion of foreign direct investment in 2013. Bahrain’s economy is the most open in the region, with a competitive tax regime, world-class regulation, one of the most educated workforces in the GCC and high connectivity and access to regional markets."
According to the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2014, released in June, total FDI to Bahrain in 2013 was $989 million, an increase of 11% on 2012, outpacing global average growth of 9%. Bahrain’s open economy, favourable business conditions and strong economic fundamentals have also been endorsed by the Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, which saw the Kingdom ranked 13th in the world and first in the Middle East and North Africa.
fDi Intelligence is the largest FDI centre of excellence globally, specialising in all areas relating to foreign direct investment and investment promotion. The finalist cities in the fDi Global Cities of the Future report were selected based on data collected by the Financial Times using the specialist online tools fDi Markets and fDi Benchmark. Data was then collected for the selected 130 locations under five categories: Economic Potential, Business Friendliness, Human Capital and Lifestyle, Cost Effectiveness and Connectivity, and the locations scored up to a maximum of 10 points for each datapoint.