GCC firms 'can open Bahrain branches'
Manama, December 25, 2012
Bahrain’s Shura Council has approved the bill that allows companies owned by GCC nationals to open branches in the kingdom in a move to help develop businesses and diversify sources of income.
Under the bill, GCC companies will be treated equally as Bahraini organisations on the condition they operate businesses licensed by the Bahraini government and are practised by Bahraini traders, said a report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
The Industry and Commerce Ministry will also have the right to give exceptional licenses to GCC companies or cancel a given permit.
The bill will be now ratified by His Majesty King Hamad.
However, the law is only effective for three years and has to be assessed and enhanced before being approved again by the National Assembly, which includes the Shura Council and parliament.
Shura Council financial and economic affairs committee chairman Sayed Habib Hashim said that Bahrain was adamant on treating GCC nationals equally to Bahrainis.
"Bahrain is striving to remove all limitations that create limitations on the GCC market, which is a target for all member states, and we as Bahrainis and other businessmen in the Gulf want to see that it is achieved," he said.
"We have to take steps to push towards a successful implementation of a joint economic and financial legislation that would benefit all GCC nationals."
Hashim said the private sector in Bahrain would receive the needed boost with the implementation of the legislation.
"Businesses will develop as more investments are injected into the market and at the same time it will ensure more diversity of sources of income," he added.
Ministry assistant under-secretary for domestic trade Hameed Rahma told the council that the new bill would help refresh the Bahraini market with more GCC investments being injected into it. – TradeArabia News Service