$791m Tamkeen funds for private sector
Manama, January 9, 2013
Bahrain's labour fund Tamkeen has re-injected more than BD300 million ($791 million) into the Bahrain market in support of the country's private sector, said a top official.
The funds, which Tamkeen has received from the private sector through the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), have been used in the form of support programmes designed to enhance the capabilities of Bahrainis and private sector enterprises, said Tamkeen chairman Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa.
Speaking during the First Tamkeen Expo at the Gulf Hotel's Gulf Convention Centre, which concluded yesterday, Shaikh Mohammed said nearly 66,000 individuals and enterprises had benefited from these programmes since Tamkeen came into existence in 2006, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"This includes more than 47,000 Bahrainis who have benefited from its human capital development programmes and includes training more than 30,000 Bahrainis in various sectors," the report quoted him as saying.
Shaikh Mohammed said in addition to this, Tamkeen has also helped 3,500 Bahrainis find gainful employment, enabled more than 3,000 to obtain professional certifications in their fields of specialisation and assisted more than 19,000 enterprises with financing and business support services.
"More than 4,900 enterprises have also been enabled to obtain low-cost financing solutions through its enterprise finance portfolio," he noted.
He said more than 4,500 enterprises have enhanced their performance through a wide range of enterprise development support services as well.
Shaikh Mohammed said the first-ever expo organised by Tamkeen was a unique and integrated multi-level event, which sought to provide a major learning and knowledge-sharing platform by bringing together more than 1,000 people from the private sector and experts under one roof.
"The event has also showcased in a tangible way the positive impact Tamkeen has had on enhancing and boosting Bahrain's private sector with the participation of entrepreneurs who benefited from its support programmes."
He said Bahrain has educated and qualified human capital, and a liberal and open economic environment bolstered by a strong and well-established regulatory framework.
"These advantages have made Bahrain a preferred gateway for companies and organisations looking to gain a foothold in the GCC market, currently worth more than $1 trillion and expected to reach $2trn in the next 10 years."
He said Bahrain's economy had repeatedly proven its resilience and ability to continue in an upward trajectory despite local and global challenges.
"In 2012, Bahrain was ranked ninth overall among the Arab and West Asian countries in foreign direct investments.
"Bahrain was also ranked among the top countries in terms of economic freedom in the Mena region, and was placed seventh on the 2012 Fraser Institute Report for Economic Freedom."
He said Tamkeen's success is measured by the success of the people of the country.
"This is the overriding principle which drives and motivates us to empower all Bahrainis to achieve their potential."
He said estimates by the Unified Arab Economic Report and projections by the International Monetary Fund show that in the next five years, until 2017, total investments in Bahrain are expected to reach $45 billion.
"Tamkeen remains firm in its role as the private sector's partner to prosperity," said Shaikh Mohammed.
"And it is precisely this type of public-private partnership that has been outlined by our leadership as a key factor in raising Bahrain's profile and making it a leading business hub, as well as creating job opportunities for Bahrainis in burgeoning sectors," he added.-TradeArabia News Service