6 September 2019

 

Predictions

  • Ceremony afforded to Indian Prime Minister reflects efforts to attract foreign investment but Manama will remain slow to enact economic reforms
  • Government will ringfence public sector jobs for Bahraini citizens in order to ease Sunni discontent over rising living costs and unemployment
  • Demoralisation and persistent insecurity elsewhere will mean that military will struggle to put down insurgency, although air strikes will limit group’s ability to expand scope of attacks

Analysis

Indian Prime Minister Modi visited Bahrain between 24-25 August, the first official visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the Kingdom. King Hamad hosted a dinner in Modi’s honour and awarded him the King Hamad Order of the Renaissance in recognition of his efforts to strengthen bilateral relations. During the visit Bahrain also pardoned 250 Indian prisoners serving sentences in the country.

The visit comes as Bahrain is seeking to attract foreign investment that will help the Government reach its goal of balancing the budget by 2022, having run a deficit since the fall in global oil prices in mid-2014. Bahrain is home to nearly 400,000 Indian immigrants – the largest expatriate community in the country – and the value of India-Bahrain trade reached around USD 1.3 billion in 2018-19. There are also more than…

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