Falak event explores government's role in boosting growth [Press Release]
Bahrain-based Falak Consulting, a leader in financial consultancy services, held an event with top business leaders to discuss the role of the government as well as the private sectors in boosting the country’s economy. Zayed R. Alzayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism was the guest of honour at the ‘FC Power Lunch’. Speaking on the occasion, Suhail Algosaibi, chairman, Falak Consulting said: “The purpose of FC Power Lunch is to have a dialogue about the business environment, to share ideas and thoughts, and to be brought up to speed by government officials on the latest reform efforts. It is my honour and pleasure to host this august session with Zayed R. Alzayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism as well as some of the most prominent people in Bahrain’s business community.” The discussions of this session of the FC Power Lunch were initiated with the Minister emphasising the proactive delivery mechanism adopted by the MoICT. He mentioned that the MoICT is trying to be more active and is moving ahead with much needed reforms. In order to implement the same the MOIC has undertaken some very effective steps such as: • Measures to make the CR process simpler are underway. This includes a measure to issue a preliminary CR within minutes and to make final CR turnaround working time 5 days. There were 22 transactions related to the CR in Bahrain that required inter-ministerial interactions, which are now being reduced to only 6. Additionally, certain mandatory requirements, like minimum capital, address restrictions etc have been eradicated to ensure the ease of processing while not compromising on security concerns • The Ministry is also concentrating on improving the monitoring of its operations. This includes assigning of KPIs for all employees as well as a weekly reporting of tracking against those KPIs • The MoICT is also in the process of introducing the concept of ‘shelve companies’ (dormant registered companies that can be bought) and virtual CR’s (for 12 categories of one person owned and operated enterprises) Alzayani also emphasized the importance and involvement of the private sector in developing the economy. He specifically mentioned the need to increase the participation of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and to enable the same. The MoICT has been formulating various programmes such as: • Access to capital will be made easier. This includes measures to build a secondary market for the Bahrain Stock Exchange with lower entry barriers and pre-determined pricing • Bahrain will set up an Export Centre that will support all Companies that wish to enter other markets • The need for bankruptcy loans is also currently being studied • The need to share success stories of entrepreneurs was also stressed upon by the Minister. He mentioned that this would encourage aspiring entrepreneurs The session concluded with a focused discussion on the tourism sector and the measures being taken to boost this industry. The Minister specified that the MoICT has formulated a 4 A’s Programme which focuses on Awareness, Attraction, Access and Accommodation. Awareness will focus on promoting Bahrain in a positive way as well as hosting prestigious international events on the island, inviting prominent personalities and increasing the number of conventions held every year. Attraction will concentrate on increasing the number of family attractions such as parks, beaches, family destinations, amusement parks within the country. Access will ensure improving the access to the island by improving the causeway, increasing routes of Gulf Air as well as providing Bahrain with its new state-of-the-art airport. Accommodation will help improve the quality of accommodation for leisure and business tourists as well as increase the availability of beach front properties, affordable short stay hotels etc. He added that the new convention centre close to the BIC will also be able to cater to a larger number of tourists and will also be connected to a small shopping mall. The MoICT’s next area of focus within the tourism sector would be concentrated on Medical and Education tourism and a plan to increase footfalls to the Hawar Islands.