Dubai: Bahrain holds comparatively less hydrocarbons than other Gulf states, but concerted efforts to reduce the dependence of the economy on mineral exploitation has led to its status as one of the region's most 'financially forward-thinking' countries, a new report claims.

According to consultancy firm KPMG's 'Succeeding in a Changing World' survey of 1,500 executives across 22 European, Middle Eastern and African countries, Bahrain earned the reputation of being a "regional trailblazer" with the "GCC's most open economy".

"Having long since realised that it cannot rely on oil and gas exports to ensure its continuing prosperity, the kingdom has strived over the past several decades to diversify its economy away from the extraction of natural resources and toward a more sustainable model of development based on manufacturing and the provision of services, especially finance," the report said.

In fact, the building blocks of Bahrain's economy remain intact despite recent unrest and investors are optimistic about the country's future, according to the report.

"Going forward, government and regional investments are expected to have an immediate impact on Bahrain's economic recovery," it said.

The report added that Bahrain's expected revision of the national economic strategy will be a vital measure to ensure long-term prosperity.

To this end, organisations are reviewing their internal structure to enhance performance efficiency and are concentrating on business performance management.

Compared to other countries, Bahraini executives place a higher weight on mitigating risk throughout organisations, at 42 percent, versus the average 30 percent.

KPMG Fakhro and Bahrain Head of Advisory Narayanan Ramachandran says this demonstrates Bahrain's "increasing emphasis on corporate governance and financial risk management."

(Agencies)