Bahrain draws up map to reinvigorate SMEs

Industry and Commerce Minister Dr. Hassan Fakhro confirmed government and the Ministry continuation to provide all means of support possible to small and medium sector in order to enable them and enhance their capacity and competitiveness locally and regional, pointing in this context to the integrated plan and strategies adopted currently by the Ministry to implement it in cooperation and coordination with the private sector and concerned institutions to study the situation of this sector and put perceptions and recommendation aimed at enhancing it.

This came during chairing the 12th meeting of Main Committee to Coordinate and Integrate SME Activities in Bahrain, where he confirmed the importance to review the definition of small and medium enterprises and evaluate its mechanism by the committee members and concerned.

Proceeding from Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 and implementation of Ministry initiative to establish Bahrain Export Center, therefore the Ministry is coordinating with the company concerned to work within the committee chaired by the Minister including stakeholders to develop a mechanism to implement this project, which includes three basic stages, first to determine project framework and structure, second launch the project in its pilot phase and finally launch the center and expand its operation in full, where the center will be under the umbrella of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Tamkeen made a visual presentation about the project to support troubled institutions, which aims to support small and medium enterprises in overcoming financial difficulties and restore its efficiency by providing grant 100% of the value of some operating expenses identified by Tamkeen. They executed a budget of $11 million granted for 2500 beneficiaries’ institutions within easy conditions and criteria and within high level of readiness and clear procedures. Tamkeen also set a model to identify and assess troubled institutions. The model includes a number of financial and quality indicators depend on quality standards. The presentation also includes statistics on beneficiaries’ institutions from the project.

Bahrain Polytechnic gave a visual presentation about establishing an Entrepreneurship Development Center, which aims to establish a center for entrepreneurship in the campus, provides guidance and services for students who wish to self-employment. The project also aims to create graduate and entrepreneurs at the same time by combining entrepreneurial activities in the curriculum.

During the meeting, they also discussed the latest developments and preparations for the third Small and Medium Enterprises Forum and Exhibition under the patronage of the Minister of Industry & Commerce Dr. Hassan Fakhro to be organized by Bahrain Small and Medium Enterprises Society to be held on 4-5th December 2012.

The Minister thanks and appreciated all parties and personalities involved in the Committee, valuing their important and influential role in enhancing committee work and achieve its objectives.

The committee members praised all initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, which contributed significantly to progress and develop ministry work and develop services provided to citizens.

The meeting was attended by representatives from EDB, Bahrain Development Bank, Tamkeen, UNIDO, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning, Women Supreme Council, Bahrain Businesswomen Society, Bahrain Businessmen Society, Bahrain Youth Entrepreneurs Association, Bahrain Small and Medium Enterprises Society, Ebdaa Bank and private sector representatives.

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