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Yusuf Mansawala

Navigating the maze: Bahrain's diversification journey

MANAMA, February 23, 2024

Yusuf Mansawala
Bahrain encounters hurdles on its path to diversification, however, by implementing strategic resolutions, focusing on profitable sectors, and fostering an inventive and cooperative environment, Bahrain can unlock its full capabilities.
 
Despite positive signs such as the establishment of the Bahrain Economic Development Board and investments in technology and tourism, a significant reduction in oil dependency and the restoration of its position as the financial centre of the region require a more thorough examination of the obstacles and possibilities at hand, writes Yusuf Mansawala, Chief Market Analyst, CPT Markets.
 
Challenges to overcome
One challenge lies in the complex bureaucracy and excessive regulations that can trap foreign investors and hinder business flexibility. It is crucial to simplify regulations and procedures in order to create a dynamic business environment that attracts and retains international players. 
 
Moreover, Bahrain's workforce must enhance their skills to meet the diverse demands of various industries. Investing in the development of human capital is essential to equip its citizens with the expertise needed to compete in the global market.
 
In addition, it is crucial to cultivate a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. This requires not only a cultural shift towards innovation but also concrete measures such as providing financial support for startups and establishing a network of mentors and resources. 
 
Lastly, Bahrain faces tough competition from well-established financial cenrtres like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. To establish a unique position, Bahrain must identify and specialise in niche areas, capitalising on its geographical advantages or focusing on specific services.
 
Accelerating non-oil growth
In order to achieve true economic diversification, Bahrain must give priority to high-value sectors. By aligning with global trends and concentrating on industries such as fintech, clean technology, and healthcare, the country can draw in high-skilled jobs and establish economic variety. 
 
Moreover, encouraging innovation through tax incentives, grants, and infrastructure support for research and development can nurture pioneering ventures and drive the nation's progress. Establishing a strong digital infrastructure is also crucial. This not only entices technology companies but also enhances efficient business operations and simplifies processes across various sectors.
 
Lastly, collaborating with neighbouring countries on joint projects and cross-border initiatives can capitalise on regional strengths and establish a mutually beneficial economic environment.
 
Regaining financial hub status
To regain its status as the primary financial centre in the region, Bahrain must adopt a comprehensive strategy. Firstly, it should enhance its regulatory framework. 
 
Striking a delicate balance between encouraging innovation and upholding prudent regulations will create an environment that appeals to financial institutions and instills confidence in investors. Additionally, attracting skilled professionals is of utmost importance. Offering competitive salaries, opportunities for career growth, and a vibrant city life will entice talented individuals who will form the backbone of the financial sector.
 
Moreover, specialisation is crucial. Bahrain can distinguish itself by focusing on specific areas such as Islamic finance, wealth management, or particular asset classes, establishing itself as a renowned leader in these niches. Lastly, embracing technology is imperative. By integrating blockchain, artificial intelligence, and other fintech solutions,
 
Bahrain can position itself as a pioneer in digital finance and attract businesses in search of innovative solutions.--TradeArabia News Service
 



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