The cabinet in late July approved the details of the project to establish an industrial zone near the new port at Hidd, now known as Bahrain International Investment Park. Capital investment for the 240-hectare first phase is estimated at about BD 600 million ($1,600 million).

Under the package of incentives agreed by the cabinet, companies setting up in the park, which is divided into sectors by industry type, will be tax-exempt for 10 years with a five-year optional extension. Land will be let at BD 0.5 ($1.32) a square metre for a renewable 50 years. There will be no restrictions on employing expatriates.

Eleven projects have already been granted approval, two by foreign ventures and the remainder by nationals. Another plan for Bermuda-based PVAXX Industriesto establish a ship pallet plant in the park was shelved when the company relocated the project to Oman, but PVAXX is understood to be considering an alternative investment at Hidd.

A phase 2 expansion for the park is planned (Bahrain, MEED Special Report, 24:12:04).