Expos can help boost Bahrain economy
Manama, May 24, 2011
Exhibitions could play a vital role in revitalising the economy and spearheading growth in Bahrain, according to a top official.
Such events have major importance by attracting investment and visitors to the country, said Supreme Council for Youth and Sports first vice-chairman Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
'There is a huge role played by exhibitions in supporting the national economy and reviving business and tourism trade in the country,' he said.
'The importance of regular exhibitions held in Bahrain is that it is turning the country into a favoured destination to hold such events in various departments.'
Shaikh Khalid was speaking as he opened the Love and Loyalty Festival and Exhibition, held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIEC) yesterday.
The eight-day event is organised by the Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority and held with the support of the Industry and Commerce Ministry and Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry in association with Tamkeen.
It features 91 local commercial enterprises and a number of craftsmen and creators in the field of traditional handicrafts and productive families.
Shaikh Khalid stressed the exhibition trade was becoming one of the supporting pillars of the economy due to its importance in having companies meet and showcase their products to consumers.
'Exhibitions have a huge role in attracting investors to Bahrain in light of facilities and incentive package provided by the county to many organisations,' said Shaikh Khalid, who is also Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president.
'Such events invite visitors and businessmen which in return has a positive impact in supporting the national economy.'
The festival is a value-adding asset as its goal is to sustain the economical achievements Bahrain has accomplished, he added.
Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro said the re-scheduling of exhibitions and conferences was a sign of commercial activities returning to normal.
'This in turn has hastened the organisers to renew their reservations,' he said.
Thirty Bahraini enterprises supported by Tamkeen's Growth Assistance Programme (GAP) took part in the event.
More than BD15,000 has been allocated by Tamkeen towards covering their registration and participation costs.
Tamkeen Private Sector Support senior manager Mohammed Bucheery said it was crucial that companies, especially SMEs, were given assistance to showcase their products and interact with potential clients and like-minded entrepreneurs.
'The Love and Loyalty Festival and Exhibition will provide such enterprises much needed exposure and further enhance their commercial activities,' he said.
Meanwhile, scores of people took part in efforts to restore the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix to this year's F1 calendar on the sidelines of the festival.
The initiative, being spearheaded by Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), gives fans the chance to sign a special book created by a group of Bahraini motorsport enthusiasts.
They are hoping the postponed Grand Prix will be held later this year.
A second book has now been produced to accommodate the huge number of signatories.
'Participation was so good that we have already been able to complete one book filled with signatures,' said one of the organisers Ali Dadi.
'We are now using a second book in the festival and hopefully we will be able to fill it with signatures.'
Thousands of residents have already signed the book, which was launched two weeks ago at BIC during the first-ever National Racing Finals.
It is now available at the BIEC to sign daily between 10am and 7pm until May 30.
An online petition, Bring Back Bahrain Formula 1 GP, set up to support the staging of this year's race has already gained more than 900 signatures.
The festival will run daily until May 30 from 10am to 7pm.-TradeArabia News Service