MANAMA: The region’s economic transformation and investment opportunities will be the highlight of the first Gateway Gulf in Bahrain starting today under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Economic Development Board (EDB) chairman.
The three-day event at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay brings together more than 500 global investors and business leaders to explore ways of unlocking the opportunities being created by the economic transformation in the GCC.
The event provides a direct route into accessing the GCC market by showcasing major regional investment-ready projects worth $18 billion, with projects in the planning phase driving up the value of the project pipeline to $26bn.
The event also offers an opportunity to match funding with large-scale infrastructure projects in Bahrain.
Bahrain is also fast-tracking substantial public and private sector investment projects worth over $32bn across the manufacturing, logistics, infrastructure, healthcare, education and tourism sectors, supporting the national goal of long-term, sustainable economic growth.
“A key part of our role at the EDB is to talk to international investors and we have found that they are very excited about the potential to enter and expand in the Gulf market. However, they would like to know more about how to unlock those opportunities – which is why we have created Gateway Gulf,” EDB chief executive Khalid Al Rumaihi said.
The event will include high-level plenary sessions led by key business leaders across strategic growth sectors, including manufacturing, tourism, real estate, power, water and energy, and will address some of the key business issues currently facing the region as it opens up new investment opportunities to the private sector.
“Bahrain was the fastest growing economy in the GCC in 2017, a trend the IMF expects to continue into 2018. This strong growth momentum, paired with the kingdom’s strategic location, supportive and cost-effective business environment and talented workforce, offers international companies a powerful launch pad to access growth across the region,” Mr Al Rumaihi added.
Highlights of the event include a panel session titled Aligning Fiscal Policy with Economic Growth, which will discuss ways in which policy makers can meet the challenges of achieving economic growth and creating a sound fiscal policy.
Other sessions at Gateway Gulf will shed light on cloud computing, fintech, blockchain and oil and gas with a list of high-profile speakers.