MANAMA: Bahrain's economy is set to grow by more than four per cent next year, according to Economic Development Board (EDB) chief executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa. This comes against a backdrop of reduced growth across the region as a result of the financial crisis.
"We (Bahrain) never grew at a breakneck speed that most other economies did and are now enjoying the benefits," he said.
"This is a good sign and it is credit to everyone in Bahrain, particularly those who expressed faith in the government's policies and continued to invest, grow and expand."
Shaikh Mohammed was speaking as he toured the Abraj Al Lulu project in Manama accompanied by its developer, Pearl Development Company chairman Mohammed Dadabhai, and other officials.
"This development is a classic example of the confidence that Bahrain has generated among the GCC populations," he said.
"Hundreds of nationals of neighbouring countries have now made Bahrain their second home and invested in the country, clearly signifying good times are here to stay."
He said investors were expectedly cautious, but even in their caution continued to pump in money.
"The result is that we continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace than we would have wanted," he said.
He revealed the EDB had helped more than 100 companies in Bahrain, including Abraj Al Lulu, by streamlining investment procedures.
A team of young Bahrainis is now visiting various parts of the world to promote the country.
"We have more promising news coming in the next few months," he said.
Mr Dadabhai said Shaikh Mohammed's visit came at a time when the property market in Bahrain was looking up.
"We have sold a good part of the project already and many of those who have bought apartments are selling them at a good premium in the secondary market," he said.
The BD95 million Black, Gold and Silver towers cover an area of 18,600 square metres.
Between them, they house over 860 one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments, a dozen 'villas in the sky' and a range of sports and recreational facilities.