US Cybersecurity Company Resecurity Opens Office and Technology Hub in Bahrain

Resecurity Inc. (USA), a Los Angeles-based cybersecurity and intelligence company serving Fortune 500 clients globally, recently announced the opening of its latest office in Manama, Bahrain, supported by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB). Marking the expansion of its global footprint with offices that include Rome, Seoul, Singapore, and Bangkok, as well as countries across the Middle East and North Africa region, the Manama-based office will serve the local market as well as Resecurity subsidiaries across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Within the first year of operation, the cybersecurity firm will additionally set up a dedicated technology hub to serve regional and global clients, comprising intensive graduate training programs in cybersecurity.

With progressive government frameworks and world-class digital infrastructure, Bahrain has made impressive strides in its national sector-wide digital transformation agenda, with initiatives that include introducing a Data Jurisdiction Law, the first of its kind in the world, and adopting a Cloud-First Policy in 2017. Home to the first US-based Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure region in the Middle East and Africa, Bahrain has increasingly placed itself on the global map of investment attractiveness. Backed by government-subsidised training programs to reskill its workforce with future market skills, Bahrain continues to supply international investors with a diverse, future-ready, and highly skilled talent pool.

Gene Yoo, Chief Executive Officer of Resecurity Inc., said, “Delivering unparalleled visibility into complex cybersecurity threats that are becoming increasingly sophisticated and pervasive worldwide, we serve clients in a variety of industries with global reach. In view of Bahrain’s skilled workforce and progressive Cloud-first government policy, our latest office and technology hub in Bahrain marks a pivotal decision to serve clients locally and in the Gulf beyond, enabling us to tap into growth opportunities in the dynamic regional information security market to bring cybersecurity solutions closer to businesses and organisations.”

Musab Abdulla, the Executive Director of Business Development Information and Communications Technology (ICT) at Bahrain EDB said, “Implementing increased cybersecurity measures to safeguard local communities, governments, and leading organisations has become a global necessity in today’s digital age, and Resecurity’s services will further fortify the security of the regional landscape. Bahrain has cemented itself internationally as a trusted destination for investment backed by progressive government policies and a future ready workforce. Resecurity’s tech hub will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise through dedicated workshops and training programs designed to further empower the local workforce with the necessary skills to navigate the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape.”

Known for providing best-of-breed data-driven solutions across multiple sectors including financial institutions, government bodies, and energy companies; the new Manama-based office aligns with Resecurity’s aim of accelerating the delivery of its cybersecurity and threat intelligence offerings on a regional and international level. Resecurity was recognised as a leader in the cyber threat intelligence market in the Frost & Sullivan Global Threat Intelligence Platforms Market 2022 report.

A High-Level Bahrain Delegation Wraps Up a Successful Visit to China

Manama, Bahrain 28, October 2023. A high-level Bahrain delegation headed by H.E. Abdulla bin Adel Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce and Acting Minister of Tourism, successfully concluded its official visit to China, which kicked off as of October 21 spanning across the three cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Beijing.

Organised by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC) with the support of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB), the visit was designed to strengthen economic ties and attract high-impact investment projects to Bahrain, with a focus on priority industry sectors.

In addition to key officials from the MOIC and senior executives from Bahrain EDB, including its Chief Executive, H.E. Khalid Humaidan, the delegation comprised senior representatives from Bahrain’s public and private sectors, including representatives from the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry headed by its Second Vice Chairman, Mohamed Abduljabbar AlKooheji.

In addition to the site visits and meetings organised with government officials, the agenda included a series of investor meetings and two keynote economic forums focused on attracting leading investment projects with a focus on the manufacturing and information and communication technology (ICT) sectors.

The first, titled ‘China GCC Economic and Trade Forum’ was hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China in Guangzhou, and the second was hosted by Bahrain EDB with the support of the Chinese Overseas Development Association (CODA) in Beijing. Additionally, CODA hosted an exclusive session for the Bahrain business delegation held in honour of the 20th anniversary of CODA.

On the sidelines of the events, Gulf Air announced its two new direct routes to Guangzhou and Shanghai, in line with its plans to continue to expand its global network of destinations. The two routes, which are set to operate from January 2024 , will include direct flights from Bahrain International Airport (BIA) to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), are expected to enhance trade and tourism ties.

During the visit to Beijing, Bahrain signed four agreements to further strengthen ties with China, including the signing of a Letter of Intent of the Corporation Plan on the Belt and Road Initiative between Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Development and Reform Commission of China, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the field of Tourism, signed between Bahrain’s Ministry of Tourism and China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Additionally, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce signed two MOUs with China’s National Intellectual Property Administration in the field of Intellectual Property and on the Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program.

H.E Abdulla bin Adel Fakhro, the Minister of Industry and Commerce and Acting Minister of Tourism, said, “This trip was paramount in enabling us to demonstrate to leading manufacturers, technology companies, and tourism enterprises in China that are expanding globally the unique benefits of setting up in Bahrain, with the aim of further building upon existing commercial and trade ties for the mutual benefit of both countries.”

China remains one of Bahrain’s top five largest trading partners wherein as of 2022, the volume of non-oil bilateral trade between both nations reached approximately USD 2.4 billion. Beyond heavily contributing to the completion of large-scale construction and infrastructure projects, various China-based companies benefit from established operations in Bahrain which provides strategic access to the wider Gulf market.

This includes Huawei, which has its Middle East and Central Asia Headquarters based in Bahrain, CPIC Fiberglass, the largest leading fiberglass manufacturer in China which has a facility set up in Bahrain International Investment Park, and KKC Industries WLL (iCOOL), a Chinese manufacturer of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) products, where through its manufacturing facility in Bahrain produces and exports key products across the Middle East, United States, and European markets.

A High-Level Bahrain Delegation Heads to China to Promote Investment Opportunities

Manama, Bahrain – 21 October 2023. A high-level Bahrain delegation led by H.E. Abdulla bin Adel Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce, and the acting Minister of Tourism, is headed on an official visit to China scheduled from October 21 to October 27.

Organised by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC) with the support of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB), the visit is designed to strengthen economic and trade ties between the two countries, as well as promote high-impact investment opportunities in Bahrain.

With a focus on attracting leading investment projects across priority sectors, the visit will bring together over 20 senior representatives from Bahrain’s public and private sectors. In addition to key officials from the MOIC and senior executives from Bahrain EDB, including its Chief Executive, H.E. Khalid Humaidan, and the delegation will be supported by representatives from the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, led by its Second Vice Chairman, Mr. Mohamed Abduljabbar AlKooheji.

Encompassing three cities with a set agenda of strategic investor and government meetings alongside key networking events, the trip will commence in Guangzhou, set to include a visit to the Canton Fair, the largest trading event in China, and additionally feature China-GCC Trade Forum which will be hosted by China’s Ministry of Commerce. The delegation will continue to Shenzhen, then to China’s capital, Beijing, which will feature a business forum along with business to business meetings hosted by Bahrain EDB in collaboration with China Overseas Development Association (CODA).

H.E Abdulla Bin Adel Fakhro, the Minister of Industry and Commerce and acting Minister of Tourism, said, “Owing to its strategic location in the heart of the Gulf, progressive government and foreign ownership policies, Bahrain provides an ideal destination for Chinese manufacturers and enterprises expanding globally. With a strong interest in international investment demonstrated, and a healthy pipeline of leading projects from China, we look forward to promoting new commercial opportunities across focused sectors, further building upon strong economic and trade ties, and forming new strategic partnerships for the mutual benefit of both countries.”

China remains one of Bahrain’s top five largest trading partners wherein as of 2022, the volume of non-oil bilateral trade between both nations reached approximately USD 2.4 billion. Beyond heavily contributing to the completion of large-scale construction and infrastructure projects, various China-based companies benefit from established operations in Bahrain which provides strategic access to the wider Gulf market. Huawei, which set up its Middle East and Central Asia headquarters in Bahrain in 2009, formed an instrumental role in Bahrain’s early adoption of nationwide 5G, and in furthering the national digital agenda.

On the Sidelines of GITEX, Bahrain EDB Attracts USD 295 million in ICT as part of total Direct Investments worth USD 1.4 billion

  • A testament to investor confidence in Bahrain as a global destination for talent and investment

Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB) has attracted USD 295 million in direct investments within the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector as part of a total projected direct investment worth USD 1.4 billion, during the first nine months of 2023. Stemming from 14 local and international projects, the direct investments for the ICT sector, are expected to generate over 1,600 jobs within three years.  

On the sidelines of GITEX, Musab Abdullah, Executive Director of ICT Business Development at the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said, “The continuous development of the ICT sector is a strategic priority for Bahrain and remains a pivotal contributor to the diversification and growth of the national economy. This milestone achievement in direct investments for the ICT sector will result in a positive ripple effect across sectors, with digital transformation being a cornerstone of sustainable economic development.”

Musab Abdullah, “Together with its progressive regulatory government, and ease of doing business, Bahrain has earned its standing as the destination of choice for companies seeking highly skilled, future ready talent. Leading technology companies have been keen to tap into the Gulf’s rapidly growing market, and we take pride in witnessing impactful investment projects and industry giants in the ICT sector choose Bahrain as the base for their operations in data management, customer service excellence, software development and service delivery.” 

Backed by progressive government frameworks, an unparalleled direct operating cost advantage (28% lower than the region), and a young and tech-savvy population, Bahrain continues to cement itself as a leading destination for ICT talent and investments on regional and global levels.

Recent investment projects include the regional cable system of Saudi Telecommunication Company (stc), which was awarded a Golden License earlier this year. Additionally, Talabat’s largest shared services centre in the region chose Bahrain as its host destination for the quality of its digital talent and its attractive investment environment, demonstrating Bahrain’s ability to provide professional services at regional and global levels.

Driven by a clear vision and a forward-looking government Bahrain has made great strides in its ICT sector owing to the world-class connectivity of its infrastructure, solidifying its position as a results-yielding magnet for investment and digital transformation. Bahrain is now leading the world when it comes to governments hosting its data and services on the cloud, with 85% already being hosted on the cloud.

Fintech Forward 2023 Successfully Wraps Up its Inaugural Event in Bahrain

Manama, Bahrain – October 16, 2023. Fintech Forward 2023 (FF23) wrapped up its inaugural event last week, which was held at Bahrain Exhibition World securing more than 900 attendees. Following an evening networking session and dinner on October 10, the event for the first day which was held as part of FF23, ‘The Transformation Agenda: Finance Re-imagined’, was programmed by Economist Impact with the support of EDB, included a one-on-one interview session with Binance Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and founder, Changpeng Zhou, known as “CZ”. The interview was conducted by Alice Fulwood, a Wall Street correspondent at The Economist, where CZ weighed in on the potential disruptive effect of cryptocurrencies and the future of finance and the economy, sharing his worldly views on what the wise rules of cryptocurrency should look like when it comes to regulatory frameworks.

Throughout The Economist Impact-programmed event on the first day, leaders and investors across finance gathered to network with key decision makers from the industry and government, gaining cutting-edge insights from the interactive panel and fireside chats which featured speakers from more than 15 countries including industry experts from JP Morgan, Standard Chartered and MIT, and leading fintech companies from MENA, Japan, Brazil and beyond. Day One additionally featured the panel ‘Spotlight on the Middle East,’ which delved into the region’s vast investment opportunities owing to a large consumer base, and ample room for innovation and growth for financial players and fintechs, taking a deep dive into Bahrain’s fast-growing ability to groom, attract, and retain qualified talent. The panel featured Khalid Humaidan, Chief Executive of Bahrain Economic Development Board, Abdulmohsin Al Omran, Founder and Chief Executive of The Family Office, Michel Sawaya, CEO of Citi Bahrain, and Remo Giovanni-Abbondandolo, MENA General Manager of Checkout.com.

With innovation in Bahrain’s Fintech ecosystem reaching new heights, backed by nation-wide digitisation efforts, FF23 has cemented itself a flagship event for regional and global financial industry players seeking to connect with businesses and key decision makers in investment and regulation. By bringing together expert panelists to reimagine what the global financial landscape could look like to discuss an array of relevant topics from diverse perspectives, FF23 works towards cultivating a productive roadmap towards the digital transformation of finance.

Bahrain’s digital talent pool was another hot topic across Day One, programmed by Economist Impact, as well as Day Two, repeatedly cited across the various discussions and panels as a unique differentiator for the island nation. With a bright future ahead, brimming with opportunity for investors and businesses seeking a highly skilled, bi-lingual diverse workforce, Bahrain’s forward-looking government continues to invest in the local talent pool supported by both Bahrain-based and international institutions by upskilling and reskilling individuals with the requisite skills to meet rapidly changing market needs to foster a future-ready workforce. In a panel discussion titled “Developing the Next Generation of Tech Talent” hosted on Day Two of FF23, the conversation tackled modern strategies that nurture Bahrain’s young and driven workforce, providing valuable insights into the financial ecosystem, bringing together Yanal Jallad, Managing Director of Reboot Coding Institute, Bruno Martins, Associate Partner IT Advisory, Technology Consulting at KPMG, Mohamed Al Mahroos, Partner at PWC alongside Latifa Mohamed, General Manager at Hope Talent.

Owing to a sophisticated digital infrastructure, agile regulatory reform, and overall ease of doing business, Bahrain has solidified its position as the prime destination for all things fintech. With a forward outlook for up-and-coming technologies in fintech, open banking, cryptocurrencies, and a readiness to embrace AI advancements, Bahrain has established itself as a magnet for fintechs looking set up and expand into the region.

Held under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain, in partnership with Bahrain Economic Development Board and powered by Bahrain Fintech Bay; FF23’s dynamic agenda encapsulated the most relevant topics in the fintech horizon across its three themes of Innovation, Regulation and Investment.

To stay tuned on the dates of next year’s edition FF24, visit the following link.

Bahrain Secures High Rankings Maintaining its Standing as a Global Destination for Talent

  • Bahrain scored exceptionally well across key rankings, scoring 2nd position in the Arab world in The Institute for Management Development (IMD) latest World Talent Ranking across investment and development, appeal, and readiness of its talent pool.
  • A testament to investor confidence in Bahrain as a destination for talent – Citi’s Global Tech Hub, the regional service centres of both Talabat and PwC Middle East, and KPMG’s Low-Code Centre of Excellence all serve regional and global clients from Bahrain.

Bahrain ranked in the top half (27th) of 64 global economies on the 2023 Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Talent Ranking, climbing 8 positions since 2022 and placing 2nd in the Arab World. The rankings assess three factors of each country: the investment in and development of home-grown talent, the appeal factor – which goes beyond the focus on retaining the local workforce incorporating the ability to tap into the overseas talent pool, and finally the workforce’s competencies and quality of skills. 

Owing to a tech-savvy, driven, and diverse workforce, Bahrain has cemented itself as a leading destination for international investors that are seeking highly skilled talent. Moreover, the island nation’s strategic location in the heart of the Gulf offers promising operational growth opportunities for businesses seeking to tap into the Middle East and North African market and beyond.

A strong indicator of the deep-rooted investor trust in Bahrain’s talent pool, the past few years have witnessed leading regional and global industry leaders base their service centres and technology hubs in Bahrain. Citi’s Global Tech Hub, the regional service centres of both Talabat and PwC Middle East, alongside the recently announced KPMG Low-Code Centre of Excellence, are collectively set to generate 2410 employment and training opportunities for the local workforce.   

Bahrain also performed remarkably well on the “Readiness” index of the report analysing the talent landscape, which assessed key criteria including availability of international experience and competency of senior managers, landing an overall score of 73.7%, earning Bahrain the admirable position of 6th globally in both finance skills and language skills.

With sector-wide digital transformation initiatives implemented year after year, the government and private sectors in Bahrain operate as an agile collective, harnessing the ‘Team Bahrain’ approach to continue to foster a thriving ecosystem conducive to successful long-term business performance, thereby cementing the strategically located island nation’s eminence as a value-adding destination for investors.

Nada AlSaeed, Chief of Strategy at Bahrain Economic Development Board, said, “Talent competitiveness increasingly hinges on a country’s commitment to empower its workforce. For Bahrain, the continued investments in talent have gained the trust of investors, further demonstrated in the rise of global data centres and tech hubs setting up their roots locally.”

The Chief of Strategy added, “These home-grown achievements enable Bahrain to build on its position as a leading destination for talent on a global scale, owing to the local Bahraini’s working side-by-side with a diverse pool of global experts offering specialised skills and qualifications to serve international clients and their future demands.”

With recent initiatives that include Tamkeen’s ‘Kawader’ skills portal, which connects local talent with high-potential job opportunities in the ICT sector, as well as the establishment of the nationally backed initiative Hope Talent, a talent management organisation that matches high-achieving candidates with the right job opportunities, Bahrain continues to earn its stripes as a leading destination for highly skilled talent. Bahrain’s forward-looking government continues to invest in the local talent pool, upskilling and reskilling individuals with the requisite skills to meet rapidly changing market needs. The creation of high-value job opportunities is one of the key pillars under the national Economic Recovery Plan launched in 2021, which prioritises the development of an innovative, adaptive local workforce, targeting the employment of 20,000 and the training of 10,000 annually until 2024, with a focus on the financial services and ICT sectors.

HRH The Deputy King chairs the Bahrain EDB Board Meeting

Manama, Oct. 10 (BNA): The Deputy King, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, today chaired the EDB’s Board of Directors Meeting at its headquarters in Bahrain Bay.

His Royal Highness highlighted the importance of HM the King’s address during the opening ceremony of the second session of the sixth legislative term of the Shura Council and the Council of Representatives, which set forth HM’s far-reaching visions for the next phase of development and serves as a source of inspiration to enhance government workstreams in partnership with the private sector to achieve the Kingdom’s aspirations.

His Royal Highness expressed eagerness to sustainably grow and diversify Bahrain’s economy in cooperation with the Legislative Authority by continuing to adopt and develop legislation and laws that benefit all.

During the meeting, the Board reviewed the EDB’s efforts to attract direct investments in vital priority sectors, its contributions to strengthening Bahrain’s position as an attractive global destination for investment and discussed the most prominent regional and global economic developments. 

HRH the Deputy King commended the efforts of the EDB and the remarkable growth achieved in establishing investment projects in the Kingdom of Bahrain, highlighting the importance of accelerating the pace of turning those projects into quality opportunities for citizens.

His Royal Highness affirmed the continued launch of more programmes that make Bahrainis the first choice in the labour market and enable them to improve their competitiveness by bolstering their skills and professionalism.

HRH the Deputy King affirmed the effectiveness of the Fiscal Balance Program, according to the achievements presented at the meeting, indicating an overall economic growth, which should reflect in an increase in the income of Bahraini households.

During the meeting, the Chief Executive of Bahrain EDB, Khalid Ebrahim Humaidan, presented the EDB’s key achievements in 2023, noting that the EDB attracted USD 1.4 billion in direct local and international investment, through investments in 64 investment projects, which will help in providing more than 4,500 employment opportunities over a three-year period.

The latest developments in the global economy were also discussed, including the expectations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which indicated a decline in growth in the global economy in 2023-2024.

Additionally, the Board reviewed the Kingdom’s economic indicators for the first half of 2023 which recorded an average GDP growth of 2%, while the growth of the non-oil GDP reached 2.8%, which affirms the non-oil sector’s leading role in Bahrain’s economic growth. 

The Personal Representative of His Majesty the King, His Highness Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Deputy Prime Minister, HE Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, several senior officials, and members of the board of directors of the EDB, also attended the meeting.

FLOOSS Launches First Lending APP, and Set to Tap into USD141.6 billion Bahrain and KSA Consumer Loans Market

Supported by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB), FLOOSS, a digital financial services platform born out of Bahrain, has launched its digital consumer lending service to users. The lending service is a first of its kind where loans are approved in minutes, FLOOSS is a testament to Bahrain’s successful strides in driving innovation in the financial services sector through forward-looking regulations.

Through their mobile app (available on Android & iOS), FLOOSS enables customers to apply for consumer loans of up to BHD 750 and pay-off the loan over a period of up to 12 months. FLOOSS aims to leverage technology and data sciences to make lending more accessible for much of the population in order to utilise loans for unplanned expenses, travel, school fees, emergencies, and other financial requirements.

In addition to its license in Bahrain, FLOOSS is planning to expand within the KSA as well – a significant step towards achieving its regional expansion plans to tap into USD 141.6 billion Bahrain and KSA consumer loans market.

According to Fawaz Ghazal, Chief Executive Officer at FLOOSS, the regulatory framework in Bahrain has played a great role in their success. “We’re very grateful for the support we received from the Central Bank of Bahrain and Bahrain EDB,” he said.

“At FLOOSS, our aim is to make the digital lending process as seamless as possible. Many people need support and fast, we are that innovation in an APP. Flooss provides digital loans without the hassle of paperwork & long processes. Your loan application can be done anytime & anywhere.” he added.

Commenting on the launch of FLOOSS lending platform, Dalal Buhejji, Executive Director of Business Development for Financial Services at the Bahrain EDB, said: “Fintech companies like FLOOSS are important for the development of a robust digital infrastructure in Bahrain, which is what we as the EDB continue to focus on as part of Bahrain’s financial services strategy, in line with the Economic Recovery Plan.”

“The launch of their innovative lending service in Bahrain is another case study to show how forward-thinking regulations can enhance the Kingdom’s business environment and create an innovative and supportive ecosystem, which enables businesses to thrive,” she added.

Under Bahrain’s Economic Recovery Plan, the Financial Services Sector Strategy (2022 – 2026) aims to create job opportunities, strengthen legislation and regulatory policies, and develop the fintech subsector.

HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister meets U.S. Secretary of State to sign historic Bahrain-U.S. bilateral agreement

Washington, Sept. 13 (BNA): His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, today met with U.S. Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, at the State Department, as part of his official visit to the United States. 

During the meeting, HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad and Secretary Blinken signed a historic bilateral agreement, the Comprehensive Security Integration and Prosperity Agreement, which forms a cornerstone for cooperation not only for Bahrain and the U.S., but also globally as it represents a new architecture for bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

The Comprehensive Security Integration and Prosperity Agreement will enhance Bahrain-U.S. cooperation across a range of areas, from defence and security to emerging technology, trade, and investment.

Secretary Blinken welcomed Bahrain’s role as one of the U.S.’ longest standing and closest partners in the Middle East, as both a non-NATO ally and a Major Security Partner, noting that the agreement will strengthen coordination between both nations’ armed forces and further integrate intelligence capacity to deter and respond to threats as they arise.

The Secretary of State emphasised the agreement’s role in identifying new bilateral investment opportunities, which build on the two nations’ 2006 Free Trade Agreement, which has more than tripled trade and investment to $3 billion per year. 

Secretary Blinken noted that the agreement further enhances scientific and technical cooperation and information exchange in areas such as health security and digital technology, adding that the agreement is also the first binding U.S. international agreement of its kind in developing and deploying trusted technologies.

Looking to the future, the Secretary of State also noted that the U.S. and Bahrain look forward to using this agreement as a framework for additional countries that wish to join the U.S. and Bahrain in strengthening regional stability, economic cooperation, and technological innovation.

HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister praised the critical importance of the historic bilateral agreement, noting the profound global challenges and choices that are faced between the rise of authoritarianism and libertarianism and the international rules-based order that manifested itself in the early 19th century.

His Royal Highness said this rules-based order was the foundation of freedom of trade, the movement of ideas, and the movement of people all over the world, and that Bahrain and the U.S. are beneficiaries of those common values.

HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister welcomed the agreement’s role in focusing not only on security and defence, but also on economic and technological cooperation, and that the signing will be the foundation for a new global architecture given the open-ended nature of the agreement.

His Royal Highness reaffirmed Bahrain’s commitment to further deepening Bahrain-U.S. relations and steadfastly implementing the new Comprehensive Security Integration and Prosperity Agreement.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

Spire Technologies Obtains Open Banking License from Central Bank of Bahrain

Spire Technologies has obtained Account Information Service Provider (AISP) and Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP) licenses from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), authorising it to operate as a fully regulated open banking ancillary service provider in the Kingdom. This milestone approval from the CBB will effectively enable Spire Technologies to expand its offerings, delivering expert financial insights and swift digital solutions to the market with increased operational efficiency, which include the provision of open banking use cases to retail customers and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in addition to open banking enabled services to banks and fintechs.

A graduate from the CBB’s regulatory sandbox, the Bahrain-based open banking fintech is keen to contribute to the growth of the digitally-led national financial ecosystem and expand into the region and is set to launch its open banking solutions to MSMEs across Bahrain. The solutions aims to provide its users with full agency over business cashflows, offering a rich user experience as well as faster, secure account-to-account payments at a competitive cost.

Dalal Buhejji, Executive Director of Financial Services at Bahrain EDB, said: “As of 2022, the financial services sector is the largest contributor to our GDP standing at 17.5%, which forms a major driver to the sustainable economic growth and diversification of the national economy, thereby boosting Bahrain’s international competitiveness on a global playing field. We take pride in witnessing the expansion journey of Spire Technologies, which reiterates Bahrain’s track record of success in giving rise to one success story after another owing to a pioneering pro-innovation regulatory framework and the unwavering support of Team Bahrain operating as a dynamic, collaborative collective, working in step with the private sector.”

Aamir Janjua, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Spire Technologies, added, “Open banking has enabled the next generation of fintechs to introduce innovative, personalised, competitive and inclusive financial services to the fintech landscape. We are gratified at how far we’ve come and to be licensed as an ancillary service provider, enabling us to deliver innovative data and payments driven open banking solutions in Bahrain as part of a growing fintech ecosystem. We are thankful to the CBB for their continuous drive to build a robust open banking ecosystem, and to the Bahrain Economic Development Board for their exceptional support throughout our journey.”

With an agile, future-forward regulatory framework, a dependable digital infrastructure, and a recognised history of innovation in the financial services sector which comprises a growing fintech ecosystem, Bahrain is home to a balanced portfolio of leading banks, fintech firms, and financial players cementing its reputation as the ideal destination for businesses to set up and tap into a high growth region. Celebrating over 100 years of banking, Bahrain’s well established financial services sector has secured many firsts for the Middle East and North Africa region driving unmatched regulatory reform, paving the way for emerging industries including robo-advice and crypto-asset platforms.

The CBB has been quick to embrace open banking, providing banks with a sound and ever-evolving regulatory framework to meet the demand for digital payment and credit services, launching pioneering initiatives in the likes of the regulatory sandbox, a virtual space for both CBB-licensed financial institutions and fintech startups to test pilot innovative solutions to effectively scale up their operations from Bahrain and across the region in a safe, regulated space.

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