Bahrain chamber urged to attract investors
Manama, February 16, 2014
Bahrain's trading community has been urged to join hands with the government to turn Bahrain into an attractive destination for investors and visitors.
"We share the same goal of having a secure and stable country with prosperous economy and productive citizens who benefit from their nation's wealth," HRH the Premier said as he attended the 28th Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (BCCI) board elections at the Shaikh Isa Cultural Centre, Juffair.
The turnout was "very strong" with the majority of the 6,116 eligible members casting their ballots, according to organisers, despite a change of venue at the eleventh hour from the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, Sanabis, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Security concerns had prompted the move to Juffair to avoid planned protests, the GDN reported on Friday, and a number of candidates subsequently registered their objection to the change of venue.
Tadhamon (Solidarity) group head Khalid Al Zayani said that by law at least 15 days' notice was required prior to a venue or time change, but BCCI chairman Dr Essam Fakhro moved yesterday to dismiss any calls for legal action.
"This has nothing to do with the legality of the situation, the venue was moved for security reasons," Dr Fakhro said.
His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa also emphasised the importance of security.
"There is no economy without security and no security without economy, and therefore reinforcing the law is the best way to safeguard stability so that openness and reforms yield fruitful results," he said.
The Prime Minister also praised Bahraini women's positive participation in the elections, which he described as compelling evidence of Bahraini society's openness and empowerment of women.
A record number of businesswomen put their names forward for election this year, with nine out of a total of 58 candidates being female.
One such hopeful was Daskalide's director Huda Radhi, who said greater female influence could only be a positive thing for the BCCI board.
"There's a very strong female presence in the candidate list this time and I think we would like to have our voices heard in the chamber," Radhi told the GDN.
"We women only have one seat on the board at the moment but we would like to have more, because we are working hard at committee level and we should have more influence."
The key skill that women would bring to the board was firmness of purpose, Radhi added.
"We are determined - women are very determined. We don't leave anything until the last minute in life and we get things done," she said.
Voting closed at 10pm last night amid fierce competition between independent candidates and the six electoral groups.
Al Zayani and Ma'akum (Together) group head Khalid Almoayyed were the chief contenders for the post of board chairman. - TradeArabia News Service