MUHARRAQ: A transparent and efficient system at the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) can help in developing the national economy according to the aspiration of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, says leading businessmen.
“We have been able to put in place an efficient and transparent system at the BCCI in the past four years which could only ensure the economic development through the active participation of the board of the Chamber,” Khalid Al Zayani, 1st Vice Chairman of the BCCI told the business seminar held in Muharraq.
Mr Al Zayani, while addressing 150 businessman and owners of the businesses from the Asian communities assured them full support during the next term of the BCCI board (2018-22) and urged business community, largely from the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) sector, to take part actively in the BCCI calendar events.
“We as the BCCI board members are there to serve, support and help the businesses as Chamber is the largest and the oldest business community platform in the Kingdom of Bahrain. We believe in clean and straightforward plan and Inshallah we will continue to serve with the same passion and enthusiasm,” Mr Al Zayani, who is the third generation of among successful business families in the Gulf region.
The meeting was third business seminar being organised by a panel led by Mr Khalid Al Zayani, with active participation of panel members including Mr Sajid Sheikh, the BCCI Executive Director and the Chairman of the Bahrain Asian Traders Committee, Mr Isa Abdulrahim Al Rafaei, Treasurer of the BCCI, Mr Ahmed bin Hindi, Head of the ICT Committee at the BCCI, Mr Ahmed Bin Sabah Al Saloom, Chairman SME Development Society and others.
Mr Al Zayani, who is also Chairman of the Al Baraka Islamic Bank (ABIB) highlighted the existing potential in the Asian markets including Pakistan. “Pakistan’s economy has very promising future as the ABIB’s success story speaks volume of existing potentials and growth indicators of Pakistan economy.”
“The ABIB now have over 270 operating branches across Pakistan and is a source of thousands of high caliber jobs for Pakistanis,” he added.
Mr Sajid Sheikh, Chairman of the BATC said that over the past eight years as BCCI Director he was able to address many issues confronted by the business community especially the SMEs. The region, Mr Sheikh said, is going through challenging time so is Bahrain, and we need to prepare ourselves to brave the situation in 2018 and beyond.
“With record low oil prices and squeezed income, the public sector will come up with various steps to meet the deficit and at this stage the private sector needs to be careful and well prepared,” he said, adding that the BCCI had disbursed almost BD300,000 to support the small businesses and keep their wheel of business moving. “The BCCI had advertised in the local papers yet there was not a single case from Pakistan community,” he regrets saying that without businesses participation the BCCI would not able to support them.
Referring to the BATC role in the past four years, he said that he worked very closely with the 17 embassies and the missions from the Asian communities.
Mr Sheikh urged the SMEs owners to benefit from the existing 351 activities which are now open for foreigners. “This has happened due to the hard work of the BCCI and with the support of Mr Zayed Al Zayani, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, who listened to the recommendations of the BCCI.
Asian business community showed their confidence in the leadership of Mr Al Zayani and his panel and assured them the full support in Chamber elections due in three-month’s time.
Mr Saloom in his remarks said SME Development society would continue to serve the businesses. “We have just opened three incubators to support the businesses and we will setup two support centers each in Riffa and Muharraq to reach out the businesses.
Chaudhary Mohammed Akram, owner of Manama Food Industry and other businesses in his remarks applauded the role of the leading business families, like Al Zayanis, in the development of the national economy.
He also assured Mr Sajid Sheikh for a full support from the Pakistan and other Asian communities and urged the business owners to vote for Mr Al Zayani’s panel who are contesting BCCI elections for a great cause.
Mr Ashraf Bhinder, a Pakistani businessman also welcomed the BCCI panel members to the seminar.