Bahrain is home to three special economic zones, all of which were ranked in the top 20 locations for inward investment, economic development and business expansion in FDI Magazine’s Global Free Zones of the Future 2012/13 report.

The Bahrain Logistics Zone was established in 2008 next to Khalifa bin Salman port, the island’s main harbour. Placed 16th in the FDI Magazine ranking, the port zone offers land plots of 3,000 square metres and more for lease. The 100-hectare zone focuses on third-party logistics, storage and distribution (for export and re-export), as well as other logistics services and activities. In the first quarter of 2013, container throughput stood at 95,828 20-foot equivalent units, with an average processing time of 32 minutes.

Bahrain International airport sits in 19th place in the free zones of the future list, and is ranked fifth-best airport zone in the world. An upgrade is planned that could give tax breaks to investors. Offering cargo facilities, offices and retail space, the foreign trade zone has no customs duties. It is governed by Mumtalakat, the state vehicle for Bahrain’s non-oil and gas investments, established by royal decree in June 2006.

Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP) offers 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies, duty-free access to GCC markets, exemption from import duties on both raw materials and equipment and 100 per cent repatriation of capital. Located 5 kilometres from Bahrain International airport, BIIP consists of 2.5 million sq m of leasable land, costing $1.33 a sq m a year to rent. GCC free zones are considered as being outside the country, so goods are taxed at 5 per cent when exported to Bahrain. BIIP is not treated as a free zone, so is not subject to the 5 per cent tax when shipping goods to Bahrain.

Bahrain Logistics Zone (BLZ)

The BLZ is situated just 1km from Khalifa bin Salman port, 13km from Bahrain International airport and 40km from the Saudi border.

Facilities

Plots of land start at 3,000 sq m, while the zone itself covers 100 hectares. Expansion plans were announced in 2012, including the construction of a new 66kV power station.

Benefits

  • Customs-free zone
  • 100 per cent foreign company ownership
  • Land, sea and air access

Bahrain International Airport (BIA)

While BIA is not a free zone, infrastructure plans are in their final stages, including a possible free zone. Currently, as with most airports, BIA has a bonded cargo terminal, which allows importers to delay the payment of duty until products leave the facility.

Facilities

Cargo facilities at BIA are located in a 19,000-sq-m terminal providing export cargo sales, trans-shipment facilities, break-bulk cargo handling, dangerous goods provisions and customs clearance.

Benefits

  • Bonded cargo terminal

Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP)

The BIIP does not operate as a free zone as such, but allows products manufactured in Bahrain to be sold into the wider GCC without export duties, while avoiding the 5 per cent import tax.

Facilities

The BIIP comprises 2.5 million sq m of land, located 5km from Bahrain International airport and next to Khalifa bin Salman port.

Benefits

  • 100 per cent foreign ownership
  • Zero corporate tax, guaranteed for 10 years
  • Exemption from import duties on raw materials and equipment
  • Duty-free access to all GCC markets, including Bahrain
  • Free-trade access to the US
  • 100 per cent repatriation of capital
  • No minimum capital requirements
  • No recruitment restrictions for first five years

Fast facts

  • All three Bahraini economic zones appear in FDI Magazine’s top 20 free zones of the future 2012/13.
  • Bahrain International airport is ranked 19th in the free zones of the future list and fifth-best airport zone in the world.
  • Goods shipped to Bahrain from Bahrain International Investment Park are exempt from the standard 5 per cent import tax.
  • In 2013, first quarter throughput at Bahrain Logistics Zone was 95,828 20-foot equivalent units.

Key contacts

Bahrain Logistics Zone

PO Box 75315

Al-Hidd, Bahrain

Tel: (+973) 1 735 9608

Fax: (+973) 1 735 9564

Email: blz_inquiry@mot.gov.bh

Web: www.mot.gov.bh

Bahrain International Airport

Tel: (+973) 1 735 3397

Fax: (+973) 1 733 1014

Email: marketing@bac.bh

Web: www.bahrainairport.com

Bahrain International Investment Park

PO Box 50502

Al-Hidd, Bahrain

Tel: (+973) 1 746 7373

Fax: (+973) 1 746 7300

Email: admin@biip.com.bh

Web: www.biip.com.bh

Bahrain Logistics Zone

Industries

  • Third-party logistics
  • Storage and distribution
  • Logistics services and value-added logistics services, including assembly, packaging and re-packaging

Bahrain International Airport

Industries

  • Cargo facilities
  • Retail
  • Advertising space
  • Offices

Bahrain International Investment Park

Industries

  • Manufacturing
  • International services

Bahrain International Investment Park

Rents

From $1.33/sq m a year

Electricity

From $0.04/kWh