Bahrain

 

Geography:
Location: Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates: 26 00 N, 50 33 E
People:
Population: 1,248,348

note: includes 235,108 non-nationals (July 2012 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 20.5% (male 126,313/female 122,359)

15-64 years: 77% (male 595,244/female 339,635)

65 years and over: 2.6% (male 14,791/female 16,363) (2011 est.)

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: Kingdom of Bahrain

conventional short form: Bahrain

local long form: Mamlakat al Bahrayn

local short form: Al Bahrayn

former: Dilmun

Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: name: Manama

geographic coordinates: 26 14 N, 50 34 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use:  276,500 (2011)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 1.694 million (2011)
Transportation:
Airports: 4 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 4

over 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Bahrain Defence Forces (BDF): Ground Force (includes Air Defence), Naval Force, Air Force, National Guard
Military service age and obligation: 17 years of age for voluntary military service; 15 years of age for NCOs, technicians, and cadets; no conscription (2008)

Economy:

With its highly developed communication and transport facilities, Bahrain is home to numerous multinational firms with business in the Gulf. Petroleum production and refining account for over 60% of Bahrain’s export receipts, over 70% of government revenues, and 11% of GDP (exclusive of allied industries), underpinning Bahrain’s strong economic growth in recent years. Aluminum is Bahrain’s second major export after oil.

 

Other major segments of Bahrain’s economy are the financial and construction sectors. Bahrain is focused on Islamic banking and is competing on an international scale with Malaysia as a worldwide banking centre. Bahrain is actively pursuing the diversification and privatization of its economy to reduce the country’s dependence on oil. As part of this effort, in August 2006 Bahrain and the US implemented a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the first FTA between the US and a Gulf state.

 

Continued strong growth hinges on Bahrain’s ability to acquire new natural gas supplies as feedstock to support its expanding petrochemical and aluminium industries. Unemployment, especially among the young, and the depletion of oil and underground water resources are long-term economic problems.

Transnational Issues:

current situation: Bahrain is a destination country for men and women from South and Southeast Asia who migrate willingly to work as labourers or domestic servants, but may be subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude when faced with exorbitant recruitment and transportation fees, withholding of their passports, restrictions on their movement, non-payment of wages, and physical or sexual abuse; women from Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Morocco, and Thailand are also trafficked to Bahrain for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labour

 

tier rating: Tier 3 – Bahrain made no discernable progress in preventing trafficking in 2006; the government failed to enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law and did not report any prosecutions or convictions for trafficking offenses, despite reports of a substantial problem of involuntary servitude and trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation

Map: