Jobs in Bahrain’s financial services sector saw a massive 68 per cent growth from 2003 to 2009, based on September data published by the Bahrain Economic Quarterly. Increasing from 5,855 jobs in 2003, the sector recorded 9,808 positions in 2009, and reported that Bahrain nationals held down two thirds of those jobs. The financial service sector accounted for 7 per cent of all jobs in Bahrain.
This type of employment is of particular importance given that most positions are well compensated and highly skilled.
The Vision 2030 plan that is underway in Bahrain focuses on creating more opportunity and higher paying positions within the nation. Bahrain is also striving to become a more major player in the economy of the GCC region. These goals are being handled by the EDB of Bahrain (Economic Development Board) headed by the Chairman of the EDB and Crown Prince of the nation, His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
In the last forty years as Bahrain focused more on sustainable growth over the long term, the financial services sector has expanded and grown into the biggest contributor of the country’s GDP. This growth has been assisted by the access Bahrain has provided to the business community – access to all six of the nations within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that together create a $1 trillion market.
The EDB’s chief executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa noted that the financial services industry has been a great influence to growth in the economy over the past forty years. He stated that the industry provided wealth on its own and also provided the balance of the economy with the necessary financing for growth.
More Bahrainis are working with the financial services industry for a variety of reasons. Quality regulations, established track records and lower business costs have caused the sector to thrive providing more positions. Also, the educational and training opportunities given to Bahrainis has transformed them into a skilled workforce that is more than capable of working within any level of a global financial institution.
The financial centre in Bahrain has been around for over four decades and expands over a broad spectrum. Bahrain hosts the biggest group of funds in the Gulf region, has the primary insurance within the region and is a global hub for Islamic finance. The nation is the host of the FundForum Middle East annual event in October, which brings together over 350 fund management leaders in the region.
Shaikh Mohammed pointed out that the future looks bright for Barhainis in this sector and beyond as the country’s leading role in regional fund management and insurance and their foremost position in global Islamic finance continue.Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News