MANAMA: Financial controls and guidance from accountants would shape business in Bahrain and India as both countries face a post-VAT and GST (Goods and Services Tax) economy.
The comments were addressed to more than 400 delegates from the region and India attending the Bahrain Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’s (BCICAI) annual conference.
Speaking at the opening session Indian Ambassador Alok Kumar Sinha said the Indian government had recast the country’s economy with the GST. He congratulated the delegates on their transformational role in contributing to the progress of Bahrain.
KPMG managing partner Jamal Fakhro commended the role of chartered accountants in helping companies navigate what he called ‘a Year of Change’.
He said Bahrain, like other countries, must re-examine the way it conducts business in order to be ready for the future.
Central Bank of Bahrain head of retail banking supervision directorate Wahbi Abdulla Al Alawi said the conference’s theme, ‘Transforming Possibilities into Reality’, was especially relevant as businesses everywhere raced to re-position themselves technically in a fast-changing technological world.
“Cloud computing, digital currencies, crowd-funding, data analytics and blockchain are some futuristic trends that will have a profound impact on how the financial sector does business,” Mr Al Alawi said, adding that the CBB walks the fine line between managing the risks of fintech and avoiding stifling innovation through over-regulation. Other speakers included former CEO of KPMG India Richard Rekhy, who spoke about leadership challenges in a corporate environment that is rapidly evolving and being re-shaped by disruptive technology.
The two-day event was inaugurated yesterday at the Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa under the patronage of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Al Zayani.
Today’s programme includes a panel discussion on ‘Wealth creation through equity’ by well-known TV financial consultant and markets editor at CNBC Awaaz Anil Singhvi.
Diyar Al Muharraq is the title sponsor of the forum. Event sponsors include Ahli United Bank, BDO, KPMG, Grant Thornton, Protiviti, Fame Technologies, Bahrain Commercial Facilities Co, Arab Financial Services, SBI Mutual Fund and the UAQ Free Trade Zone.