HE Khalid AlRumaihi
A Record Year Lays the Foundation for Further SuccessThis year marked one of the most successful in Bahrain EDB’s history, by a number of different metrics. Bahrain EDB has attracted over US$ 733 million in FDI, a record year for us, creating hundreds of jobs across a variety of sectors.
This investment has come from some of the biggest names in global business. As well as Amazon Web Service’s decision to establish their first data Region in the Middle East in Bahrain, we have welcomed news that construction of Mondelēz’s new facility in the Bahrain International Investment Park is on track, a development that will improve product availability and reach across the region, and that Jumeirah Group is to open its first luxury hotel in Bahrain early 2018.
Attracting investment takes time, and we have made significant progress over the last twelve months that will yield positive results over the coming years. A key focus for us has been improving the regulatory environment in the Kingdom, providing the support necessary for both local and international companies to grow and adapt to the digital revolution that is transforming our economies.
Amongst the most important reforms has been the introduction of a regulatory sandbox for FinTech companies, rules to govern both traditional and Shari’a compliant crowdfunding, and limited partnership laws. We are planning to continue building on that momentum in 2018 with updates to our bankruptcy and trust laws as well as through the introduction of a venture capital fund of funds to make sure that startups have access to the necessary capital needed for their growth.
We are also working closely with regional and international incubators and accelerators to build on the local startup ecosystem and offer mentorship and training, with the help of organisations like Tamkeen, in order to upskill our national workforce. These measures are critical to ensuring that companies remain innovative and competitive.
Bahrain EDB has been busier than ever, with our new corporate structure giving us a more effective and targeted presence in more countries around the world. All of our achievements are a testament to the hard work of the people here and I want to take this opportunity to thank them.
The foundation we have established this year puts us in an excellent position to continue to support Bahrain’s efforts to grow and prosper, and I am delighted to be able to share some of our highlights with you as we work together towards a bright future.
Attracting investment takes time, and we have made significant progress over the last twelve months that will yield positive results over the coming years.