Trade between the UAE and Bahrain has seen a significant rebound since the pandemic with non-oil bilateral trade between the countries increasing by 75 per cent year-on-year in Q2 2021.
UAE-Bahrain trade reached $672 million in the second quarter of this year, accounting for around 40 per cent of Bahrain’s GCC trade, according to the latest figures released by Bahrain’s eGovernment and Information Authority.
Only Saudi Arabia traded more with Bahrain, with the total value of exports and imports between the two kingdoms reaching $781 million during the quarter. Trade between Oman and Bahrain stood at $141 million. Oman was followed by Kuwait, which recorded $99 million in bilateral trade in Q2 2021.
Trade between the GCC and Bahrain reached a total value of $1.69 billion in Q2 2021, marking a 38 per cent increase compared to the same quarter last year, the data showed. International trade was severely hampered in Q2 2020 as lockdowns caused borders to close and significantly disrupted supply chains.
Bahrain-GCC trade for the first half of 2021 reached around $3.45 billion up from $2.88 billion in H1 2020.
Ali Al Mudaifa, executive director of Bahrain’s Economic Development Board, said: “We are very pleased to see non-oil trade between the UAE and Bahrain recovering so strongly. These regional figures are a clear indication of our appetite for growth and our determination in our response to the pandemic’s economic challenges.”
He added: “Bahrain’s strong rebound from the pandemic demonstrates the continuing integrity of our robust supply chains and illustrates our position as a key logistical hub in the Gulf region. Companies here benefit from a competitive business environment, the region’s best-value operating costs and one of the most skilled workforces. The Kingdom also offers 100 per cent foreign ownership in most business sectors.”
Some of the biggest exports to the UAE, aside from iron ore and aluminium products, included cheese and biscuits manufactured in Bahrain’s multi-million-dollar mega factories. Within the region, Bahrain is rapidly emerging as an FMCG leader, with global FMCG giants like Arla, Mondelez, Kimberly Clark and Reckitt Benckiser selecting the Kingdom as their regional manufacturing base and distribution hub.
The value of Bahrain’s global exports spiked by more than 70 per cent year-on-year, reaching $1.12 billion by the end of the second quarter. Import values fell by around eight per cent to just over $1 billion.