Manama : Bringing together top entrepreneurs and investors from around the world under one roof, the 12th edition of the Invest in Bahrain Forum (IIBF) and World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum 2017 (WIEF) kick-started yesterday at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre hailing the role of Bahrain model in job creation and investment generation.
“The Bahrain model has created more than 16,000 jobs and raised more than $2 billion in investment,” António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nation told the conference in a video message.
“I commend, for focusing this year’s forum on the Sustainable Development Goals. Inclusive and sustainable industrial development will continue to be a key driver of progress as we support the Member States in this essential work,” he said.
His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa deputised his advisor His Highness Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa to open the forum, being organised by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.
Shaikh Salman reiterated the keenness of the Government, chaired by HRH the Premier, on promoting Bahrain’s investment attractiveness through a wide-ranging and comprehensive vision aimed at revitalising all economic sectors and encouraging capitals and the private sector to seize the opportunities and invest in promising projects.
He hailed the flux of foreign investments, stressing Bahrain’s business-friendly environment, openness, developed infrastructure and flexible laws which keep abreast of global trends.
Addressing the conference, Zayed Al Zayani, Minister, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism said, “Our forum is special this year as it coincides with the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum 2017 organised by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce & Tourism, Tamkeen and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation,” the Minister said.
The minister also highlighted the various achievement made by the Kingdom especially in the manufacturing sectors, which now accounts for 15 percent of the GDP.
He also explained the benefits Bahrain reaped through the launch of e-system, SIJILAT, service to license mobile food vehicles, the launch of Saudi Investors Centre and the Bahrain investment market.
The investors’’ centre, the minister said, allows Saudi investors to list on the Bahrain Stock Exchange as it is also linked to Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul).
Referring to a study carried out by the General Secretariat of the Union of Arab Banks, the minister said that there are 10 Bahraini banks in the list of the 1,000 largest banks in the world based on the data published in The Banker magazine for July 2017.
Explaining more about the boom witnessed in the various economic sector of the Kingdom, the minister said, “There were 8.7 million visitors until September this year constituting an increase of 12.8% over the same period in 2016.”
Ali Mohammed Al Thunayan Alghanim, Chairman, Federation of Chambers of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Khalid Abdulrahman Khalil Almoayed, Chairman of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, Deputy to the Director-General of UNIDO, Adnan Kassar, Honorary Chairman of the United Nations Maritime-Continental Silk Road Cities Alliance also spoke on the occasion.
Commenting on the conference, Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, Deputy to the Director-General United Nations Industrial Development Organization, said: “It is an honour to be a part of World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum 2017, which enables us to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Ali Mohammed Al Thunayan Alghanim, Chairman, Federation of Chambers of the Gulf Cooperation Council hailed the steps taken by the Kingdom in enhancing the economy. “We have witnessed remarkable efforts to improve and facilitate the investment environment, including the establishment of the Bahrain Investor Centre,” he said adding: “Bahrain has a strong track record in the field of attracting nationals, Gulf Arabs and international investments.”
He also renewed his invitation to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of the Kingdom of Bahrain through this forum to grant the Federation of GCC Chambers the opportunity to promote investment opportunities in the Kingdom.
In his response, Khalid Abdulrahman Khalil Almoayed, Chairman of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed the chamber’s keenness in attracting and welcoming expatriates from all around the globe.
The forum runs until the second of November.