• Deanna Clark-Esposito

Bahrain = Business Rights + Women’s Rights

While at the Bahrain Consulate this past week in NYC, I had an opportunity to learn more about how global business and trade is streamlined into the entire Middle East thanks to Bahrain's progressive economic environment.

Situated off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia lies the island Kingdom of Bahrain, which is considered the financial center of the Middle East with over 900 financial institutions in residence and a reputation for being the easiest country in the region to do business in.

Equally, if not more noteworthy, however was learning about the liberties that women enjoyed in that country.

As described by Rose Sager, a trade representative to the Kingdom of Bahrain, women are allowed to run for office, vote, drive, and dress how they want. While these may sound like normal everyday freedoms to women in the West, compared to the treatment of women regionally, Bahrain's recognition of women as independent decision makers is considerably more progressive when you look at the Middle East as a whole.

Bahrain is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) (whose official name is "Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf"), and includes Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Oman, and of course, membership has its privileges. As a member of the GCC, each of these countries can do business tax free and duty free, and company executives can travel freely to and from each of the other 6 countries.

As long as your business is based in Bahrain as a local company, then as a foreign entity you can enjoy not paying any of the above taxes or currency repatriation, and you can also benefit from intellectual property protection which is taken very seriously in that country. In fact, certain states in the US, including the 2 states I call home, New York and California, have reciprocity with the Bahraini legal system for which, if I understood correctly, decisions in the respective jurisdictions are recognized for purposes of validity and enforcement.

The US also has a free-trade agreement with Bahrain and US companies can own 100% of the business in Bahrain with no local partner. Not only is that atypical for that part of the world but it's atypical for many countries in relation to forming a business there.

Want to know more about doing business in Bahrain? Drop me an email at deanna@clarkespositolaw.com.




free trade agreement




Middle East



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intellectual property

financial center







Gulf Cooperation Council


legal system


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