Bahrain banks 'on solid economic fundamentals'
Manama, February 28, 2012
Solid fundamentals will support a resumption of strong long-term economic growth and secure Bahrain's long-term future as a wealth management centre of excellence, said a top government official.
'Bahrain remains committed to ensuring that the same core business fundamentals remain in place,' remarked Economic Development Board (EDB) chief executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa ahead of the Euromoney GCC Private Banking Conference at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa on March 7, which will put wealth management and private banking in the spotlight.
Euromoney, the specialist financial publisher and conference organiser, is returning to Bahrain for the first time in a decade to host a major financial event, which is supported by the EDB and the Central Cank of Bahrain.
'These are stable and transparent regulation, an open business environment and sustainable growth, exploiting our location between East and West and offering a base from which to access the GCC's trillion-dollar market.
'Clearly this event will provide a strong platform to engage with the private banking and wealth management business community and highlight the benefits and opportunities presented by establishing operations in Bahrain.
'More broadly, the EDB has an extremely active business development programme to attract businesses to Bahrain, including international road shows and hosting events in Bahrain to allow people to see the kingdom for themselves.'
The quality of growth depends more than anything else on the sustainability of the workforce and quality of people and Bahrain's business sector is supported by the most productive, highly-skilled bilingual national work force in the GCC, he argued.
'Bahrain is home to a well-educated, able local financial services workforce and of the total workforce of more than 14,300 in the financial services sector 67 per cent are Bahraini, of which 37pc are Bahraini women.
'In addition to the strength of the regulatory framework and the skilled workforce, we also have a track record of more than 40 years of managing wealth in our financial system,' he said.
'We also offer platforms for investment through our thriving funds industry, with more than 2,800 registered funds in Bahrain,' he said and added we are global leaders in Islamic finance, and this means we can support a broader range of private wealth management needs in the kingdom.
'We felt that now was the right time and Bahrain the right venue to attract an international audience and we already have around 250 delegates signed up,' said Euromoney Conferences director of private banking Richard Banks.
'This is not a big conference but it is an event which will attract quality people and we have representation from as far away as Malaysia, Singapore and Switzerland.
'We chose Bahrain for this event as the kingdom remains a centre of excellence for wealth management in the Middle East,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service