Bahrain's industrial sector 'flourishing'
Manama, January 15, 2013
By Sreekumar K S
Bahrain’s industrial climate is very healthy now and the Gulf Industrial Fair (GIF 2013), which opened today, will catalyse the sector further, said Bahrain’s Industry Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro.
The leading business-to-business event for industrial sector in the northern Gulf was inaugurated this morning by Bahrain’s Prime Minister His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
Dr Fakhro, after a tour of the expo, said the The GIF is bigger and better this time and promises to grow even more next year on the back of improved industrial climate in Bahrain and the region and the support of international exhibitors.
“The current edition is definitely an improvement on last year, space-wise and going by the number of exhibitors including a sizeable count of international exhibitors. We expect more number of visitors this year. That this show is bigger compared to last year will be a motivation for more exhibitors to come next year,” he said.
“There is no doubt that this exhibition will catalyse the industrial sector. This is a showcase for the major part of the industry in Bahrain, where the manufacturing and service sectors are thriving. In fact, currently we have more applications to start industries than we can possibly handle. The indication is that the industrial climate is very healthy,” he said.
The three-day GIF, organized by Bahrain-based Hilal Conferences & Exhibitions (HCE), will run till January 17 at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIECC).
For the first time, the fair is featuring an innovative ‘Industry Week’ concept, which includes industry seminars and site visits to world-class industrial facilities.
The seminar series is being hosted by leading exhibitors including Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) and Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), sharing knowledge on the latest projects and trends with visitors.
Bapco CEO Gordon Smith said the company has been a continuous supporter of the show. “As one of the leading companies in Bahrain, we think it is our duty to support it. I am pleased to see new names here. The mix is changing - new companies are coming to exhibit. More than anything, the show has been a business enabler,” he said.
Alba chairman Mahmood Hashim Al Kooheji said: “It is the best opportunity for all the industrialists to show their capability. This is the place for any visitor or investor to gauge the depth of Bahrain’s industrial sector.
“For Alba it is one of the most important shows and our sister companies downstream are participating. This is one location where people can see all the industries in Bahrain. The kingdom has a very long industrial history. This is the best showcase for that,” he said.
“When the world economic slowdown hit Bahrain, the industrial sector has been the safest one. Its performance has been steady and Alba during the last years has been growing steadily, which prompted us to go for the expansion,” said Al Kooheji.
Chief executive of the Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard (Asry) Chris Potter said Bahrain has seen a lot of development in the industrial sector over the last few years. This has been possible because of the government's initiative to boost the sector. Asry has been contributing to that development in its own way.
Shows like the GIF are an important showcase which can only support the industrial climate. The larger participation at the show only indicates that a corner has been turned, he added.
Chairman of the Nass Group Abdullah Ahmed Nass said: ”We hope the show will give us the opportunity to network and display our competence. It will also let people know what Bahrain has to offer.”
Mohammed Ahmed Mansoor Al A’ali, managing director of the Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali Group, said: “The leadership is taking the country on the right path and there are a lot of new projects coming up. There is scope for tremendous growth ahead, which augurs well for the economy.
“We have been not only boosting the economy through our ventures but also creating jobs. We are getting over the economic crisis that had hit the country during the last few years, and through our business activities we are creating new jobs and giving the economy momentum. There are a host of opportunities in Bahrain and all over the GCC.”
HCE managing director Jubran Abdulrahman thanked HRH the Prime Minister for this patronage, visit and inauguration of the fair. The big participation by the industry is a clear indication that the industrial sector in Bahrain and the region is progressing, he said. – TradeArabia News Service