The Kingdom of Bahrain is an Arabic island country in the Gulf ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. Bharain has an approximate population of 725,000 which includes 235,000 non-nationals. In a region experiencing an oil boom, Bahrain has the fastest growing economy in the Arab world. Bahrain also has the freest economy in the Middle East. Bahrains economic conditions have fluctuated with the changing fortunes of oil.
With its highly developed communication and transport facilities, Bahrain is home to numerous multinational firms with business in the Gulf. Petroleum production and refining account for over 60% of Bahrain’s export receipts, over 70% of government revenues, and 11% of GDP (exclusive of allied industries), underpinning Bahrain’s strong economic growth in recent years. Aluminum is Bahrain’s second major export after oil. Other major segments of Bahrain’s economy are the financial and construction sectors. Bahrain is focused on Islamic banking and is competing on an international scale with Malaysia as a worldwide banking center. Bahrain is actively pursuing the diversification and privatization of its economy to reduce the country’s dependence on oil.