Jamal Fakhro addressing the members and guests at the event
Capital Club, Bahrain’s premier private business club, recently hosted a high-level business forum, ‘Bahrain Outlook 2012’, which was attended by senior representatives from all sectors in the Kingdom. Moderated by Jamal Fakhro, Senior Partner, KPMG, the forum summarized last year’s forecast and discussed the economic outlook for 2012 across the region and Bahrain, in particular.
The session was led by regional and international specialists who shared their perspective on the future of the region and analysed the impact on the global economy. The distinguished speakers included, Jean-Christophe Durand, Regional Director of BNP Paribas –GCC, Faisal Jawad, Chairman of Jawad Business Group, Sami Buhazza, Assistant Undersecretary for Housing Projects, Ministry of Housing, and Don Bradley, Chief Executive at Knight Frank Middle East.
During the forum, mixed views were shared and discussed about the global economy and its impact on regional and local market over the next year. Due to the European debit crisis, the global financial system has been affected and international banks are less likely to fund major projects in the coming year. In Bahrain, the local banks in 2011 were active in buying assets from Europe thereby maintaining a better rating than some of the major European banks.
This year the retail business in Bahrain experienced a slow down with a slump in sales due to changes in purchasing habits of the Kingdom’s consumers. It is expected that 2012 will be a time for consolidation and recovery of this sector which will further help boost the Kingdom’s economy.
With the government of Bahrain allocating a budget of BD180 million for social housing projects in 2012, the construction sector in Bahrain is expected to see significant growth. These projects will also be supported by funding offered by the GCC countries and additional money from the surplus in the 2011 budget. Since the recession in 2010, the real estate market has been sliding both regionally and globally, this impetus by the government to help construct affordable homes brings great news for construction companies and will positively contribute to reviving various segments of the economy in Bahrain in 2012.
The Business Forum is one of a series of meetings organized by the Capital Club to provide a platform for Members to hear from experts, exchange views, and prepare their plans for 2012, taking into account the impact of the recent European debit crisis.