Bahrain, Israel to enhance relations
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Reported by Julia Cassano
Start-Up Nation Central is working with the Kingdom of Bahrain to strengthen ties in facing shared challenges. This was emphasised by Avi Hasson, CEO of Start-Up Nation Central, at a conference yesterday.
“We have been following the Bahraini long-term plan and the vision for 2030, specifically the sectors of focus that have been identified by the Bahraini government. We plan to work with Bahrain’s government agencies to assist and share experiences with them, to diversify the Kingdom’s economy and shift its reliance away from oil to a knowledge-based economy,” Hasson said.
He emphasised that Start-Up Nation Central aims to work with different countries with ecosystem building, to help and assist them in different areas.
“We not only teach but we learn. We learn extensively from Bahrain regarding its financial centre and its financial technology,” he added.
Bahrain is highlighted as an “end destination and hub” for other nations regionally and globally, Hasson said. “It is important that we work with Bahrain to identify what both countries can bring to the table and give our efforts to enhance them.”
Hasson spoke about the significant progress made since the signing of the Abraham Accords saying, “An ample of progress has been made since the Accords, however, there is still much to be done. Business-to-business meetings bring people together to discuss developments, innovation, and opportunities.”
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Tribune, Hasson said: “Start-Up Central Nation’s founders believe that it made sense to create an entity that would act as a connector of Israeli innovation to global challenges.”
Over the years, the organisation has grown significantly by developing a local ecosystem and devoting itself to innovation diplomacy, which is about encouraging the use of Israeli technology to deepen relationships with strategic countries, such as Bahrain that is “very high on the list,” he noted.
He highlighted that when working with a new country, it is crucial to understand its challenges. “Essentially, it entails identifying long-term plans or focused sectors of government agencies such as the Economic Developent Board, to gauge a better understanding of where Bahrain sees itself regarding creating sectors of strength as well as identifying challenges they may face.”
Over 60 delegates at the conference focus on the sectors driven from the agenda, such as water, energy, and climate, which are shared challenges amongst Israel and Bahrain.
“In all the sectors identified, we aim to pinpoint each country’s strength to progress future goals,” Hasson noted. He shared some of the key trends in technological innovation that drive disruption to the modern world, saying: “In general, innovation and digitisation are the most important regarding economic growth. Currently, we are seeing the power and importance of artificial intelligence, as we see AI being deployed in various sectors, and will continue to see the growth of it.”
Highlighting the Kingdom’s efforts, Hasson praised the Bahraini government for the commitment to diversifying its economy, shifting away from oil, to a knowledge-based economy.
“We have experienced many of the programs created such as starting the technology transfer office, creating innovation centres, incubators, and Tamkeen’d efforts regarding the labour aspect,” he said.
Political leadership has expressed its commitment hence the signing of the Abraham Accords. However, Hasson stressed that to take things to the next level, it is essential for specific sectors, such as the business sector, private sector, and the people-to-people exchange, to enhance and progress economies.
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