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What does the future hold in Bahrain?

By Gordon Boyle

Wherever we look today across the world we are witnessing change both positive and negative. Predicting where exactly we will end up is difficult, but for sure it will be very different from where we are today.

Some experts are forecasting that over 40 per cent of the jobs of today will not exist in the future due to numerous factors, especially technological advances. Individuals, companies and countries who ignore what is happening all around them do so at their own risk.

Throughout history there have been radical changes that resulted in many opportunities that were ‘game changers’, and today we are witnessing a period of such radical change.

For those of us who have chosen to live and work in Bahrain what does the future hold for us?

Bahrain is fortunate on many fronts that gives it an advantage over other countries. Being a small totally connected nation, success is markedly enhanced when it comes to taking full advantage of the Internet.

Back in the late 19th century it was the railroads and the development of the oil industry that were the big ‘game changers’ and those who embraced the modern technologies thrived.

Today, being fully engaged in the new digital world is where Bahrain needs to be in order to be a leader in the world of tomorrow.

I recently discovered that the 10 happiest countries in the world account for only 2.4pc of the total population of the world and interestingly they contribute 7pc of the total world gross domestic product (GDP).

Economically they punch well above their weight. I have for a long time recognised that a happy team is a productive team.

This is not all about being nice, it is all about creating an environment where there is honesty and clarity as well as everyone knowing what is expected of them.

I also checked out these 10 happy countries when it comes to innovation, corruption, education and health and they all scored up there with the best in the world.

It seems that having in place the core basics of what contributes to success, then success is a natural outcome.

Without the right foundation in place it seems no matter what new industries and new investors are introduced success is not guaranteed.

Investors are fussy where they invest and they complete a lot of work before deciding where to invest. Success breeds success as we have seen in places such as Silicon Valley.

Bahrain is not a low-cost place to do business such as countries across Asia where many of the fashion businesses chose to produce their products.

With a rapidly growing population in Bahrain and in neighbouring countries there must be opportunities in industries such as the food industry.

In addition, Bahrain can more fully capitalise on one of the fastest growing businesses in the world today, tourism. All around us there are many potential visitors who can be attracted to visit Bahrain.

Tourists today are much more demanding and to be an attractive destination there must be a mix of attractions that win the hearts and minds of tourists.

You just have to look at the most successful tourism economies and you find they have a range of compelling attractions.

The answers are out there and it is all about taking the right ideas for the future and executing professionally.

Gordon is the former president and chief executive of BMMI. He can be reached at

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