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EDB says high-paying jobs for Bahrainis are core focus

Bahrain Business
Wed, 06 Jun 2018
Avinash Saxena
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MANAMA: The creation of high-paying jobs for Bahrainis with salaries of BD800-1000 a month are at the heart of the Economic Development Board (EDB)'s strategy, says chief executive Khalid Al Rumaihi.

Talking to the GDN on the sidelines of a Ramadan Ghabga, Mr Al Rumaihi said, "Our role and the role of the government – everything we do is about job creation because we want to meet the aspirations of young men and women of Bahrain as they graduate to find quality jobs.

The semi-autonomous agency's primary mandate is to bring in foreign direct investment (FDI) and the top official said besides the amount of dollar inflows that it tracks, it also looks at the number of jobs created as a result of new projects.

"Soon we will be looking at quality jobs as the bottom line for the EDB is job creation," he added.

The EDB chief also said the authority was continuing its work on the National Economic Strategy – which will include specifics on the role of digital economy for every sector of Bahrain as well as fintech, industry 4.0 and e-commerce in the logistics sector.

"We are working with the government and we hope to announce this by the beginning of the next year. The strategy will be a part of the action plan for the next term of the government," added Mr Al Rumaihi.

He said announcements in the offing include new e-commerce and logistics players making a foray into Bahrain and product launches in the fintech space.

On exciting prospects for the second half of the year, Mr Al Rumaihi said he was looking forward to the second edition of the Amazon Web Services Summit Bahrain likely in September, within the EDB’s Technology Week celebration.

"We see this annual event as yet another showcase for Bahrain and we are expecting a much bigger attendance this year and this will solidify the move to the cloud.

"The AWS data centres will be completed by early next year, and we will continue to move enterprises to the cloud."

New data released by EDB shows that Bahrain is the fastest growing country in the GCC in 2017, with real GDP growth of 3.9pc. This was driven mainly by non-oil private sector growth of 5pc and a strong infrastructure pipeline.

The kingdom's economic outlook had a significant boost recently with the announcement of the largest oil discovery since 1932.

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