Qatar 2022: Bahrain economy, firms to benefit
Investment park director expects firms to see positive impact from cup
Bahrain could be an unlikely benefiter of the 2022 World Cup as infrastructure development speeds up in Qatar, the director of the island’s investment park said.
Brian Cogan, director of the Bahrain International Investment Park, said that he expected firms operating in the BIIP to see a positive impact from the World Cup, especially if the long delayed ‘friendship’ bridge between the two countries is finally completed.
“There are plans for a new causeway linking Bahrain to Qatar that’s scheduled for 2015. I would be very hopeful that the fact that the World Cup will be coming along will add to the need for that causeway. Assuming that happens, it’ll be very good for Bahrain,” he said.
With Bahrain already having a causeway linking it with Saudi, the launch of the ‘friendship’ causeway would see it become a gateway linking the massive Saudi Arabian market to Qatar.
“It [the World Cup] has to be a great positive for the Qatar economy, but it’s also a great positive for the Gulf economy as well,” Cogan added.
Firms in the BIIP would be also benefit from the bridge being built, Cogan said, as it would allow them access to the construction and development projects in Qatar. He expected companies producing construction materials to do especially well.
“By the time the World Cup comes along, this particular park will be fully operational. But those businesses who are on the park here, who are servicing the GCC markets, if the World Cup leads to the building of the building of the Qatar-Bahrain bridge, that’ll be very much a positive,” he added.
Originally scheduled to have begun construction in the first quarter of 2010, the 40km maritime bridge has been indefinitely delayed due to a diplomatic standoff between the two Arabian Gulf neighbours.