Data is Bahrain's key to a bright future
By Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood
If Shakespeare’s Hamlet were a minister or MP in Bahrain, his famous question would surely be “To Bahrainise or not to Bahrainise?” Of course, we all know the answer to that – nationalisation is the fount of future growth for any country and in Bahrain, with our legacy of education and service-oriented job market, we have the potential to richly engage with the Bahraini workforce.
That said, I often feel that in the process of promoting Bahrainisation, expats become the low-hanging targets against whom unnecessary punitive measures are taken. In the early days – I mean the late ‘sixties and the ‘seventies – it is true that Bahrainis were educated but unaccustomed to working in a contemporary corporate environment.
But all that has changed over the past half-century and today, Bahrainis are head - ing companies, making a markas entrepreneurial businesspeople and young Bahrainis are bringing back fresh insights and business ideas to fuel a thriving start-up culture.
Certainly, we have no need to worry about expats taking over our economy – we, as Bahrainis, a re leading the workforce.
Our government has been very innovative in walking the fine line between creating training and work opportunities for Bahrainis and welcoming expats to build an inclusive and diverse workplace in the Kingdom.
We should not upset this apple cart with unfounded claims that expats are being paid fat salaries that are much more than that of Bahrainis in similar positions or that expats in the workplace are stalling the promotion of Bahrainis.
As your newspaper reported, statistics of no less an authority than GOSI shows that Bahrainis are drawing heftier salaries than expats in the public sector and even in the private sector, they can avail of training and career growth subsidies in addition to good salaries.
If Bahrain has to retain its ‘business-friendly’ tag, we must show a future vision and clarity that will help to sustain our top ranking and keep our Kingdom in the forefront. And the way forward is through careful and meticulous data-driven research and planning.
Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Tribune and the President of the Arab-African Unity Organisation for Relief, Human Rights and Counterterrorism