Bahrain 'best for business'
Manama, September 21, 2008
Bahrain is still the most attractive place in the Gulf to do business, despite increased labour fees, says a leading businessman.
Claims made by some people that the new labour fees would drive away businesses from Bahrain to Dubai are unrealistic, said Jawad Group chairman Faisal Jawad.
'The labour costs in Dubai are 50 per cent more than that of Bahrain ,' he told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
'The cost of living in Dubai is at least 40pc and the business rentals 30pc higher than that of Bahrain.
'In Dubai also businesses have to pay certain fees for employing expatriate labour.'
Jawad said the steps taken by the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) were aimed at providing a fair chance for Bahrainis in the labour market.
'My group employs more than 5,500 people, of whom 2,208 are in Bahrain,' he said.
'Thirty seven per cent of the employees are Bahrainis.'
Jawad said those who pay only BD40 to BD60 a month to their expatriate workers are worried about the new fees.
'Such employers still try to bring in the cheapest possible labour and put them in sub-standard accommodation ,' he noted. 'This culture has to change. The days of slave labour are gone.'
Jawad said his group had already opened several pizza and children's clothing outlets in different parts of India.
'We employ about 450 people in India and some of them draw a salary almost double that in Bahrain.
'The only thing Bahrain should change immediately is its bureaucracy in certain departments,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service