Country Information

 

The official currency of Bahrain is the dinar (BHD). It is the third highest valued currency, after the Maltese Lira (second) and the Kuwaiti Dinar. Before 1965, Bahrain used the Gulf rupee, a currency circulated by the Indian government. As the Gulf rupee quickly became devalued, the dinar was introduced during 1965 at a rate of 10 rupees for 1 dinar. The name dinar is derived from the Roman word denarius. One dinar consists of 1000 fils. Coins currently in circulation include 5 fils, 10 fils, 25 fils, 50 fils, 100 fils, and 500 fils. Banknotes in circulation are BD1/2, BD1, BD5, BD10, and BD20.

Like some of the other neighboring countries within the Middle Eastern region, Bahrain maintains a fixed exchange rate. Currently, it stands at approximately 2.66 dollars to 1 dinar.

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Political Structure

Bahrain is structured as a constitutional monarchy, headed by the King. The government is headed by the Prime Minister, who maintains a 15-member cabinet. Bahrain has a bicameral legistlature. The lower house, called the Chamber of Deputies is chosen by vote, and the upper house, called the Shura Council is appointed by the King.

Key Economic Factors Economic Overview

Bahrain enjoys a very lax economy, considered the most free in the Middle East. Economically speaking, Bahrain is rated ahead of the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Qatar because the government has put emphasis on diversifying the economy and encouraging foreign investment, instead of relying on its oil reserves, like many of its neighbors have been doing.

Although Bahrain has been discretionary with its oil supply, its hydrocarbon production and processing still accounts for 60% of its exports, 60% of government revenues, and 30% of the GDP. Oil, being as volatile as it has been, has influenced the economic landscape of Bahrain immensely, particularly during the Persian Gulf Crisis of 1990-91. However, it has built many developed transport and communications facilities. Paired with its relatively free economy, Bahrain has become an environment conducive to numerous global businesses in the Persian Gulf. Subsequently, Bahrain has become a key financial hub in the area, particularly in banking and other finance related industries.
Despite its recent emergence of economic success, Bahrain still suffers from several potential downfalls. Specifically, there is a high unemployment rate of 15%. This high figure is largely in part to the younger population not participating in the workforce. Secondly, its dwindling oil reserves are only said to last another ten to fifteen years. However, outlooks remain positive, as its other industries continue to boom.

  • Industries: Petroleum processing and refining, Banking, Aluminum smelting, tourism.
  • Agricultural products: Fruit, Vegetables, Poultry, Dairy Products, Shrimp, Fish.
  • Exports: (Petroleum, Petroleum Products, Aluminum.
  • Imports: Non-oil, Crude Oil.

Exchange Rates

BHD
AUD
CAD
EUR
JPY
GBP
USD
1 BHD
=
13.5483.4272.375272.6441.932.652
1 AUD
=
0.28210.9660.66976.8470.5440.747
1 CAD
=
0.2921.03510.69379.5480.5630.774
1 EUR
=
0.4211.4941.4431114.7890.8131.116
1 JPY
=
0.0040.0130.0130.00910.0070.01
1 GBP
=
0.5181.8381.7761.231141.27411.374
1 USD
=
0.3771.3381.2920.896102.8130.7281

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