MANAMA: Bahrain’s preparations to host the next edition of Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in April 2019 were highlighted at the conclusion of this year’s edition of the event hosted by Istanbul.
Also showcased were initiatives in the kingdom aimed at supporting diversity and innovation in the entrepreneurial ecosystem towards building a vital and sustainable economy.
Speaking at the event, Tamkeen chief executive Dr Ebrahim Janahi said the event is in line with the country’s growing interest to expand investment in entrepreneurship, by facilitating specially designed initiatives to support the growth of a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“This growing local ecosystem has produced numerous success stories, positioning Bahrain as an ideal market for innovators to launch their concepts and access the wider Mena region,” he added.
A panel discussion was held during the transition ceremony featuring the Bahraini delegation represented by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), Economic Development Board and Tamkeen where the speakers discussed entrepreneurship and the economic diversity supported by productivity and innovation, as well as the economic regulations in the kingdom which allow start-ups to launch, expand and maintain sustainability.
BTEA chief executive Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa spoke about the significance of the tourism sector and how it has become a major contributor to the national economy due to the recent developments aimed at enhancing the kingdom’s position as a leading destination for hosting meetings, exhibitions, conferences and incentives (MICE).
“The kingdom is also witnessing further enhancement to its tourism infrastructure, contributing 6.8 per cent to the country’s non-oil GDP. Bahrain welcomed a total of 12.7 million tourists in 2017 which affirms the significant role of the sector in the kingdom’s economic diversification efforts,” said Shaikh Khaled.
“The BTEA’s strategy focuses on developing the kingdom’s unique tourism products and experiences. We are currently working on several plans to develop new beach fronts and public beaches including the development of Bahrain Bay, diving centre, hospitality and culinary institutes, the Galali beach project and Al Muturith Island. The launch of the new exhibition and conference centre will positively impact various sectors, further strengthening the kingdom’s position on the world tourism map,” he added.
The GEC brings together thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and other start-up businesses from more than 170 countries to identify new ways of helping founders start and scale new ventures around the world.
At the weeklong GEC, delegates make connections, gain insights and learn about new research to renew their programmes, policy ideas or firm founder skills.