MENA region witnessing economic shifts

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Manama: Countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are going through exciting economic shifts, as the economies move from a growth model driven by the public sector to one driven by private enterprise, says Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the EDB.

This came as the American Chamber of Commerce Bahrain (AmCham Bahrain), the hosts of this year’s AmCham MENA Regional Council’s bi-annual forum, announced the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) as the Strategic Partner for the upcoming event being held on the 15-16 March 2017 in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

“We expect SMEs and startups to play an important role in driving this growth forward in the future. It is through events like this that we are able to connect with those companies and startups in order to enhance our entrepreneurship ecosystem to support their continued development,” said Rumaihi.

The Forum, which aims to promote trade and investment between the United States and markets of the Middle East and the North Africa (MENA) region, including Bahrain, a leading regional financial and business hub, will focus this year on: “SMEs – Unlocking Economic Potential in the MENA Region.”

In line with its mandate to support economic growth in the Kingdom, the EDB will work closely with AmCham in order to ensure the Forum provides attending companies and investors with access to networks, information and prospects that help to support cross-border trade, investment and overall business growth. Key to this will be the showcasing of opportunities for investment and partnerships with leading local, regional and international businesses based in Bahrain and neighbouring markets and the facilitation of B2B sessions and other initiatives that connect decision makers across a diverse range of sectors. Those in focus at the Forum will include: financial services, energy, real estate, industrial manufacturing, retail, F&B, travel & leisure, technology and transportation, among others.

“We are delighted to announce the support of Bahrain’s Economic Development Board for the upcoming AmCham MENA Bi-Annual Forum. Leveraging the EDB’s unique role as a highly active and successful proponent of economic growth as well as their extensive links with leading regional and global businesses, we are confident that this year’s forum can serve as an important platform for the development and expansion of trade and investment among and between the markets of the MENA region, US and others globally. We are grateful for their cooperation and the strategic value that their input will create for the more than 400 expected attendees at the Forum,” Qays H. Zu’bi, President of AmCham Bahrain, added.

Participants are to include MENA Council member AmChams Abu Dhabi-UAE, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia) as well as other regional US Business Councils Dubai, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi), a broad range of international and regional business associations, U.S. Chambers of Commerce and U.S. and MENA government representatives.

In addition to the opportunity to take part in B2B engagement, delegates and participating companies can also benefit from the insights and analysis that will be provided by high level keynote speakers and panelists at sessions covering a range of topics such as SME’s as key drivers of economic development in the MENA region; assessment of key factors enabling the growth of SMEs in the region and the integration of SMEs into the supply chain of U.S. and multinational companies in the region.

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