Bahrain has announced plans to grant citizens of all Gulf Cooperation Council countries residing or investing in the kingdom a Bahraini ID to facilitate transactions.
Bahrain News Agency reports that the move is intended to boost Gulf ties and attract more investment to the country.
ID cards will be granted to any GCC residents that have stayed in the country more than six months of a year since their entry and investors who have a documented address.
Those that meet the requirements can go to eGovernment centres in Madinat Issa or Muharraq with the possibility of having the ID issued on the same day.
Bahrain has introduced a number of measures to attract investors in the last year including 100 per cent property ownership for foreigners.
The kingdom has been hit hard by the reduction in oil prices with all three major ratings agencies downgrading the country’s debt to junk status last year.
Fitch said in a recent report that it expected the country’s fiscal deficit to fall only marginally this year to 12.3 per cent of GDP from 13.6 per cent in 2016.
The country’s debt to GDP is expected to increase to 84 per cent in 2018 form 75 per cent in 2016, the company said.