Saudi-Bahrain trade returns to pre-COVID levels amid increase in H1 figures

MANAMA — Trade between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain has returned to levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic, with new figures revealing $1.48 billion in bilateral trade during the first half of the year.

In the first six months of 2020, the figures were up 2 percent from the same period last year, in which a total of $1.45 billion in trade was recorded between the two nations.

June's figures showed the positive economic impact of support measures on the economies of both Kingdoms, with trade returning to $262.9 million — the highest levels since coronavirus struck the region in March this year. Compared to 2019, the month showed a substantial year-on-year rise of 52.45 percent.

Saudi Arabia is one of Bahrain's key trading partners, with imports and exports flowing between the two nations via the King Fahd Causeway — a 25 kilometer bridge connecting both kingdoms by road.

Officials have been working to increase facilities for commercial traffic, with recent renovation works including an increase in capacity by 45 percent and new gates on the Saudi side.

It was also recently announced that Bahrain Customs has installed high-tech artificial intelligence scanners at the King Fahd Causeway, automating data collection and allowing shipment inspections to take place before reaching the border.

According to the new figures, Bahrain's overall trade for the year-half reached $10.4 billion globally, including $2.9 billion to other GCC nations. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kingdom's overall global trade figures during H1 reduced by just two per cent.

The numbers also reveal that Bahrain is becoming a regional distribution hub for the logistics industry, with exports to the GCC over the first half of the year representing 66 percent of the total figure. Imports to Bahrain from the rest of the GCC represented 34 percent of the Bahrain's bilateral trade. — SG



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