Government Role in the Economy

The government role in the economy is large. Based on the budget, government expenditures will likely account for close to 30 percent of GDP. The government is deeply involved in industry with wholly or partially government-owned enterprises still dominating much of the economy. Such leading enterprises as BAPCO (Oil Refining), ALBA (Aluminum) and Batelco (Telecommunications) are all parastatals of varying degree. However, Bahrain has little or no taxation, relatively little government regulation, and has earned high marks on some indices of "economic freedom".

Budgetary planning provides a good indicator of current government priorities. The recent budget emphasizes infrastructure development, along with increased allotments for health and education.