Economy of Bahrain
Bahrain has an open economy. The Bahraini currency is the second-highest-valued currency unit in the world. Since the late 20th century, Bahrain has heavily invested in the banking and tourism sectors. The country's capital, Manama is home to many large financial structures. Bahrain's finance industry is very successful. In 2008, Bahrain was named the world's fastest growing financial center by the City of London's Global Financial Centres Index. Bahrain's banking and financial services sector, particularly Islamic banking, have benefited from the regional boom driven by demand for oil. Petroleum production is Bahrain's most exported product, accounting for 60% of export receipts, 70% of government revenues, and 11% of GDP. Aluminium production is the second most exported product, followed by finance and construction materials.
According to the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom, Bahrain has the freest economy in the Middle East and North Africa region and is the tenth freest economy in the world. An alternative index, published by the Fraser Institute, puts Bahrain in 44th place tied with 7 other countries. Bahrain was recognised by the World Bank as a high income economy.
Bahrain has many large financial institutions and is known as the business capital of the Gulf. With its highly developed communication and transport facilities, Bahrain is home to numerous multinational firms with business in the Persian Gulf. A large share of exports consists of petroleum products made from imported crude. Bahrain also has substantial aluminium production. Construction proceeds on several major industrial projects. Unemployment, especially among the young, and the depletion of both oil and underground water resources are major long-term economic problems. Hydrocarbon industry
Petroleum and natural gas are the only significant natural resources in Bahrain. Because of limited reserves, Bahrain has worked to diversify its economy over the past decade. Bahrain has stabilized its oil production at about 40,000 barrels (6,400 m³) per day, and reserves are expected to last 10 to 15 years. The Bahrain Petroleum Company refinery was built in 1935, has a capacity of about 250,000 barrels (40,000 m³) per day, and was the first in the Persian Gulf. The Bahrain National Gas Company operates a gas liquefaction plant that utilizes gas piped directly from Bahrain's oilfields. Gas reserves should last about 50 years at present rates of consumption.
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