The government of Bahrain's economic reform program got high marks last week from Klaus Schwab, the founder and president of the World Economic Forum (WEF), who made special note of an initiative to create an economic development board to promote Bahrain's as an industrial and trade center in the region.
Schwab, who visited Bahrain together with Frederic Sicre, the managing director of the WEF Center for Regional Strategies, met during his visit Emir Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and Crown Prince Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The visit to Bahrain was part of a Middle East tour, which included Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and the UAE. Schwab said that the aim of the tour was to witness how economic reform was progressing in the Arab world.
Speaking at a press conference at the Le Royal Meridien Hotel in Manama, Schwab characterized Bahrain as the first country in the region to step into the post-oil era. Quoted in the Egyptian Gazette. He said that the WEF is planning a conference, to be held in Bahrain, on the subject of competitiveness in the Middle East. He added that meeting would be held once a comprehensive report on the issue has been completed.
In the competitive modern world, Schwab said, a country will only succeed economically and attract foreign investment if it allows business transactions to proceed in a rapid manner, if it develops of e-business, and if it nurtures a sizeable number of educated people among its population. "From what I have seen so far, Bahrain has all the ingredients which are being developed to secure its economic future," he said.
Schwab founded the World Economic Forum in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and built it into one of the leading global organization of leaders from the business and political communities, as well as academia. Its annual meeting in Davos is now considered by many as the most important global summit defining the political, economic and business agenda for the coming year. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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