April 19, 2015
Manama, Economic Development Board, 19th April, 2015: Fund Forum Asia, Asia’s largest gathering for the asset and wealth management community was held in Hong Kong from 14-16 April, 2015. The event, sponsored by the Economic Development Board (EDB), explored the challenges facing the investment and wealth management community globally and in Asia.
The second day of the forum opened with a keynote address by Dr. Jarmo Kotilaine, Chief Economist at the EDB, introducing Asian investors to opportunities in Bahrain and the GCC. The address by Dr. Kotilaine highlighted Bahrain’s unique position as a vibrant high-value, low-cost gateway to the GCC.
Speaking at the forum, Dr. Jarmo Kotilaine said:
“The six countries of the GCC are experiencing fast growth and are exploring means of diversifying their economies away from oil. This, along with the rapidly expanding young affluent populations with investible assets on the lookout for sophisticated financial products and services, offer numerous opportunities for international investors.
“Bahrain is the ideal access point for international investors and wealth managers looking to expand into the GCC region. In Bahrain investors will find a long-established financial centre with over 40 years of experience and one of the largest concentrations of finance institutions in the region. The Kingdom’s mature regulatory framework, low cost of doing business, and highly skilled national workforce make Bahrain a compelling business location for the asset and wealth management industry.”
Bahrain has over 400 registered financial institutions and is also considered a global leader in the Islamic finance industry, hosting the highest concentration of Islamic finance institutions found anywhere in the world. In 2014, Bahrain was named the GCC’s most developed Islamic finance market and second out of 92 countries worldwide, according to the ICD-Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI).