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PRESS RELEASE: PRESS/TPRB/286

TRADE POLICY REVIEW:

Impressive growth which continued reform would help sustain

Bahrain’s development strategy, together with high international oil prices, has resulted in an impressive economic performance since its first Trade Policy Review (TPR) in 2000, with an annual average GDP growth rate of 6.2% over 2000-06, according to a report on the trade policies and practices of Bahrain published by the WTO Secretariat.

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Bahrain has established one of the most diversified economies in the region, with services accounting for 74.3% of GDP, manufacturing 13.3%, and oil and gas 11.8%. Despite this, oil and gas account for around 70% of both government income and merchandise exports. Bahrain has taken steps to improve its business and investment climate with the objective of further attracting foreign direct investment. Nonetheless, foreign companies remain excluded or are limited from investing in certain activities, such as road transport of goods and passengers.

The report notes that there was a decrease in tariff protection following the implementation, in 2003, of the common external tariff of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) of which Bahrain is a member. It also stresses that Bahrain needs to bring some elements of its trade regime more up to date and into greater conformity with WTO provisions. Continued reforms, including the adoption of a competition policy, and further improvement of Bahrain’s multilateral commitments, both on goods and services, would contribute to better resource allocation, and increase the predictability of its trade regime.

The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government of Bahrain, will be the basis for the second TPR of Bahrain by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO on 18 and 20 July 2007.

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Full list of previous TPRs
  

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The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government, will be the basis for the Trade Policy Review (TPR) by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO.

The following documents are available in MS Word format.

  

Note  back to top

Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. For each review, two documents are prepared: a policy statement by the government of the member under review, and a detailed report written independently by the WTO Secretariat. These two documents are then discussed by the WTO’s full membership in the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). These documents and the proceedings of the TPRB’s meetings are published shortly afterwards.

Print copies of previous TPR publications are available for sale from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Genève 21 and through the on-line bookshop.

The TPR publications are also available from our co-publisher Bernan Press, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391, United States.

 

Schedule of forthcoming reviews  back to top

Panama: 17 and 19 September 2007
Gabon/Cameroon: 2 and 4 October 2007
Peru: 17 and 19 October 2007

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