In line with the directives of the Government Executive Committee chaired by HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and Chairman of the SME Development Board Zayed R. Alzayani launched Export Bahrain.
Launched by the SME Development board in cooperation with Tamkeen, Export Bahrain aims to strengthen the private sector’s role, promote exports and increase the competitive power of local small and medium enterprises.
During the launch, HE the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism delivered a speech in which he thanked HRH the Crown Prince for continuously supporting the initiative, noting that Export Bahrain reflects the Kingdom’s long-standing commitment to accelerating diversification efforts.
HE the Minister went on noting that SME Development Board’s five-year plan includes several initiatives that aim to facilitate financing, increase market access, streamline Bahrain’s business environment, improve skill sets, and foster innovation to achieve sustainable growth. On that note, HE the Minister went on affirming that Export Bahrain will increase exports’ contribution to GDP from 30% to 40%, increase the share of exports from 8% to 20% and increase the number of Bahrainis working in SMEs from 36,000 to 43,000.
HE Mr Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board (EDB), said: "Export Bahrain will play a major role in increasing domestic exports, an objective that we aim to achieve in the Kingdom. This increase has a direct impact on the trade balance and improved cash reserves, and indirect effects that include contribution to job creation. This is what we seek to achieve in the Economic Development Board through attracting and encouraging domestic and foreign investments in order to raise productivity and increase exports."
The Chief Executive of Tamkeeen, HE Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Janahi, said that Export Bahrain aims to support local companies that wish to expand into international markets.
HE Mr. Ashish Shah, Director, Division of Country Programmes at the International Trade Centre (ITC), highlighted Export Bahrain’s strong partnership with trade and investment promotion organizations around the world, noting that the establishment will contribute to the diversification of the economy and enhance the competitiveness of SMEs.
HE Mr. Shah concluded by expressing ITC’s readiness to provide the required technical assistance to enhance exports, which includes providing advisory services to the center, cooperating with the Arab Investment & Export Credit Guarantee to introduce export insurance, and providing financing services in partnership with Bahrain Islamic Bank and Bahrain Development Bank.
Dr Nasser Qaedi, Executive Director of Export Bahrain also gave an overview of the wide-ranging services offered by Export Bahrain in order to achieve its objectives. Qaedi highlighted that Export Bahrain is committed to streamlining export related processes, increase marketing opportunities for exporting SME’s, and enhance their efficiency.
Export Bahrain, in cooperation with a number of local organizations, will launch programs to increase export opportunities by establishing a business directory, and to increase national companies’ export capacities. To achieve that a number of key indicators have been developed to measure and track the growth of exports, the presence of local goods in foreign markets and the national export volume index.
Today's launch took place in conjunction with the final stage of preparation for the 'Made in Bahrain' trademark, which has been approved by MOICT and will soon be used by local businesses to promote Bahraini-made products.