Bahraini firms ‘expanding after unrest’
Manama, August 5, 2012
Businesses in Bahrain have been expanding into neighbouring countries as they seek to bounce back from the unrest, said a top businessman, adding that the downturn forced them to diversify into other markets.
"As a result, we have expanded and are doing well in new markets," Khalid Almoayed and Sons director Abdulrahman Almoayed told our sister publication the Gulf Daily News.
"On the other hand, businesses in Bahrain have also started to look up and the future looks promising."
Almoayed, who is Middle East and Pakistan area director of the Entrepreneurs Organisation Bahrain (EO), said the unrest served as a wake-up call to many complacent businesses.
"We were in our comfort zones and were doing well. Suddenly, we realised businesses were suffering and if we had to survive, we had to expand and diversify," he said.
"We did that and never regretted it. Not only have our own Bahrain businesses started to bounce back, we are doing well in other places. It's a win-win situation."
Almoayed, who is director of Bahrain's only Apple Premium Reseller (APR), iMachines, revealed his company had expanded into Saudi Arabia and set up two new Apple showrooms in Bahrain.
"The information technology (IT) industry in general has witnessed an upswing," he said.
"We have ourselves signed on with some Bahrain schools and opened our two large showrooms after the unrest began. This only shows we are upbeat about Bahrain and the way it does business."
Almoayed said Bahrain had and continues to be a perfect testing ground for several large companies.
"All of them set up shop initially in Bahrain because of its highly competitive market and then expanded throughout the region," he said. "More than anything else, Bahrain is a good stepping stone for IT companies."
Almoayed said businesses across the board were on an upswing.
"Take construction, infrastructure development or IT, they are all bouncing back," he said. "We still have a long way to go before we reach where we were but we are moving."
Almoayed also welcomed greater government support of the private sector. "They are giving us the right incentives and the right support which is critical. A lot of projects are ongoing and others are planned," he said. – TradeArabia News Service