Manama-CEO of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) Khalid al-Rumaihi confirmed that the bankruptcy law will be issued soon to encourage businessmen to implement their innovative ideas, minimizing risks when starting projects and protecting investors in case of distress.
Rumaihi told Asharq Al-Awsat in an interview that the EDB focuses on providing attractive regulatory environment for entrepreneurs and regional and international investments.
He said the board works on developing a strategy that keeps pace with the international economic situation, saying it has expanded its activities lately and increased the number of its branches from five to 14.
The CEO of EDB stated that the board underlines five economic and investing sectors, which it views as important to attract investments. They are: the financial services sector, manufacturing sector, information and communication technology sector, tourism and entertainment sector and logistics and transportation sector.
When asked on why Bahrain focuses on these sectors, Rumaihi said that they provide competitive advantages for investors such as low operating price, availability of local trained and professional manpower in addition to benefiting from Bahrain’s strategic location.
“The financial sector could be taken as an example as Bahrainis constitute 60 percent of its employees,” Rumaihi said.
“Bahrain is characterized by being the center of financial services. It has been embracing various large financial institutions for more than a decade, which provided opportunities for many Bahrainis to work in this sector.”
Therefore, manpower has become an attractive element for financial institutions to choose Bahrain as the center for their operations in the region.
He noted Bahrain’s important position in the region, describing it a hub for many industries, including Islamic banking, insurance and financial services.
Bahrain occupies the second place among Middle Eastern countries in terms of preference for an environment suitable for the establishment of business, improving three places, according to the World Bank report for “Doing Business in 2017.”
Bahrain represents the ideal gateway for business as it gives the chance for companies to expand in the region. It is only 30 km away from Saudi Arabia and a maximum two-hour flight from all GCC countries; therefore, many companies consider the country a center for their businesses in the region.
Rumaihi also stressed the importance of attracting Saudi investors and giving them special priority.
Moreover, he told Asharq Al-Awsat that the EDB succeeded last year in attracting 40 foreign companies, which will invest more than $281 million that will provide 1,647 job opportunities in Bahrain during the coming three years.