Manama named Arab capital for innovations
Manama, February 13, 2014
Manama has been named Arab Capital for Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2014 as a result of its cultural and entrepreneurial expos.
It beat competition from 22 other capital cities to gain the title, which was awarded by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) and the Arab Thought Forum (ATF), said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
"We'd like others to know about this and others to share the experiences taking place in Manama, so we can exhibit them in other capitals," said ATF secretary-general Sadiq Al Faqih.
"We are not starting from ground zero here, we're starting here because there's a lot going on here in Manama and we would like others to benefit from this.
"We want others to carry on what's been happening here in Manama into other capitals - that's what we're hoping for."
Capital Governor Shaikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa said he was keen to promote the ideas of Bahrain's entrepreneurs.
"We have a Youth Council in the Capital Governorate that we started at the end of last year," he said during a press conference at the Ramee Grand Hotel and Spa in Seef yesterday.
"We now have meetings with the youth and take their ideas and try to hold projects for them.
"For instance, we have Project Green Capital and we want to encourage investment in this field in the capital.
"We intend to improve the living standard for people by improving their environment and surroundings."
Shaikh Hisham said entrepreneurs were integral to Bahrain's economy.
"Companies like Apple now have revenues bigger than some countries' economies," he said.
"If we work hard on entrepreneurship and further it, we could have a large, positive impact on our economy.
"We have great youth who have great ideas, but they need to be backed.
"I want to tell the youth to run after their dreams and we will work to build the environment to make things easier for them.
"For instance, in some cases, people may not be able to get commercial registration to work from their homes.
"We should change that, so long as the work won't affect their neighbours."
United Nations Information Centre director for the Gulf Nejib Friji said the initiative would create enabling environments.
"The UN resolution says quite clearly that the objective of this initiative is taking into consideration the difficult regulatory frameworks, high administrative burdens, the lack of financial support and entrenched social barriers that some entrepreneurs and innovators face," he said.
"The joint efforts of Unido, ATF, the Bahrain government and all other UN agencies are aimed at creating enabling environments - and this is the advantage that Manama will get from this initiative.
"It will give young people - men and women equally - the opportunity to think of a proper way to implement, illustrate and achieve their aspiration toward innovation and entrepreneurship." - TradeArabia News Service