Bahrain Private Sector Recovery Set To Continue

Manama-May-27(BNA) The robust growth witnessed in the Bahraini private sector in 2012 is set to continue this year, according to the latest Bahrain Economic Quarterly, issued today by the Economic Development Board (EDB).

Bahrain saw overall GDP growth of 3.4% in 2012, but the pace of the expansion in the non-oil sector reached 6.7%. According to EDB estimates, overall growth in 2013 is expected to exceed 5% on the back of a rebound in oil production and ongoing expansion in the non-oil sector.

All sectors of the Bahraini non-oil economy recorded growth in 2012. Among the largest sectors, manufacturing grew by more than 9% whilst financial services expanded by 3.5%. Strong performances were also seen in social and personal services, one of the most dynamic sectors of the economy in recent years, which grew more than 10%. Hotels and restaurants saw 26% growth as the sector rebounded from the 2011 slow-down. In general, the report found that “economic activity has now largely normalized across the non-oil economy.”

The Quarterly argues that this return to growth in the private sector has been underpinned by favourable credit conditions and a strong export performance. The increase in bank lending in Bahrain in 2012 peaked at 18% in April, before levelling out at approximately 6%, a growth level that has continued into the first quarter of 2013. This increased lending has also been aided by strong liquidity among Bahrain’s retail banks, which remain in robust health.

The report also noted that the dynamics for private sector recruitment “are looking increasingly promising” after more than 2,000 private sector jobs were created for Bahraini nationals in the last three months of 2012, in comparison to a slight contraction in the same period in 2011.

Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of EDB said: “The ongoing growth in Bahrain is encouraging and we are seeing signs that it has continued into 2013, underpinned by solid economic fundamentals. This sustainable growth is essential in maintaining the process of rebalancing and diversifying the Bahraini economy and in creating employment and opportunities for Bahrainis.

“As the Bahraini economy expands and the broader economic conditions continue to improve across the region, this will open more opportunities for international businesses that are looking to take advantage of the opportunities within the $1.4 trillion Gulf market.”

AHN

Wedding And Fashion Arabia 2014 Date Set

Manama-May-27(BNA) In an agreement signed between Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority represented by Chief Executive Officer Mr. Hassan Jaffar Mohamed and Mr. Laith Shukayr Managing Director of Vallay Media International, the premier bridal event “Wedding & Fashion Arabia 2014” will be launched for the first time at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre from 27th to 29th March 2014.

The event, which is organised by Vallay Media International, will spread across 6,000 square meters of event space and expected to attract around 100 exhibitors.

The “Wedding & Fashion Arabia 2014” goes beyond the traditional wedding show as it will have something special in store for everyone in the wedding starting from the bides-to-be, grooms-to-be, wedding services vendors, wedding planners, manufacturers of wedding materials, fashion items, and local and international couturiers’ creations.

The event is expected to provide an opportunity for brides-to-be and grooms-to-be to find complete array of the finest and latest products and services for their most special day, for service providers, vendors and manufacturers to showcase their products and services.

It will also offer creative but cost-effective artistic designs and finest products and services as well as establish close links with other talented specialists, experts and professionals in the wedding planning and management market. Wedding dresses designed by the best couture designers in town and the international fashion world will be highlighted in a fashion show during the event. Further information about the “Wedding & Fashion Arabia 2014” can be found at www.wfarabia.com.

AHN

BIPA Announces The Establishment of MEPAR Group

Manama-May-27 (BNA) Dr. Raed bin Shams has announced the creation of a Middle East Public Administration Research (MEPAR) group, the largest Group of Public Administration institutions in the entire Middle East. It will be one of the most important groups in the region given that the Middle East-based Arab-speaking international public administration organizations are actually resorted to by the local governments seeking solutions to their public administration issues, so BIPA is eager to be an Arab reference in terms of researches and public administration sciences, Says bin Shams.

The announcement came during a press conference held here at BIPA headquarters on Monday by Director General of the Institute of Public Administration (BIPA) Dr. Raed bin Shams, during which he also revealed the arrangements made by the kingdom of Bahrain to host the 29th Joint IIAS-IASIA International Conference on public administration, scheduled for the period of June 1-6, 2013 under the theme of “the Future of Public Administration: Professionalism and Leadership”. BIPA Education and Development Advisor Dr. Sofian Sahrawi was also at the press conference.

Welcoming the participants, Dr. Raed bin Shams says by hosting this conference, BIPA has added a qualitative initiative in the field of public administration pointing out to the several steps it has taken to gain the support of the Member States to make Bahrain’s hosting of this important international gathering of public administration possible.

Bin Shams ascribes Bahrain’s hosting of this Conference, held every three years, to the tenacity of BIPA strategic partnerships binding it with the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) and the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Public Administration (IASIA), the two largest organizations specializing in administrative sciences in the world.

This conference has added Arabic as a third official language along with English and French, he says noting that Bahrain is able to position itself on the world economic map as it possesses all the necessary human and material resources capable of producing the kind of knowledge that could be invested in public administration to sustain the national economy.

The conference does not only serve Bahrain but it will also have a positive impact on the Gulf, the Arab region, and the entire Middle East and by hosting this conference, Bahrain does not aim for the event itself but rather to create a promising future for the Kingdom of Bahrain and to contribute with distinction to the enrichment of international public administration, says bin Shams.

As to Dr. Sofian Sahrawi, BIPA Education and Development Advisor, he says Bahrain is honored to host the conference which is expected to add a lot to its shining international reputation in the field of public administration. He also points out that BIPA has run for the seat of Vice-President of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) for the year 2016 which once gained it will allow it to participate in the public administration sessions of the United Nations and will serve the Arab region and make of it a regional reference for public administration researches.

Elaborating on the importance of the conference, Sahrawi says the kingdom prides itself for hosting this international event and having the chance to highlight local experiences and expertise in public administration in order to develop a local agenda in the field with the purpose of benefiting the whole International community, stressing that no similar local agendas in the field of public administration have ever been put forward during the previous conferences.

The conference will unprecedentedly shed light on the role of women in public administration, which has not occurred in the previous international conferences and a special session will be held with the participation of a number of prestigious female figures in the Arab world to share their experiences in public administration, he concludes.

AHN

SEDCO Capital Voted Best Islamic Investment Institution 2013

Manama-May-27(BNA) The achievements, innovations and excellence in the global Islamic funds and investments industry were recognized today at the 9th Annual World Islamic Funds and Financial Markets Conference (WIFFMC 2013) awards ceremony, which was held at the Gulf Hotel in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The annual WIFFMC Islamic Investment Institution of the Year Award, which is one of the most prestigious in the industry, is designed to recognize institutions that have made a significant contribution to the global Islamic funds and investments industry. The Award recognizes a leading institution that has demonstrated outstanding achievements and institutional excellence in major performance areas.

SEDCO Capital was voted as the 2013 WIFFMC Islamic Investment Institution of the Year from a short-list of nominees through a unique industry-based voting process.

SEDCO Capital’s nomination for the award highlights their successful track record of managing and advising in excess US$ 3 billion of assets for clients across a wide and globally diversified range of investment opportunities in private equity, real estate and public equity delivering superior returns in all asset classes for over one and half decades. Their nomination also highlighted SEDCO Capital’s success in developing innovative and wider range of investment options to fulfill the individual needs of their clients. SEDCO Capital has been expanding into new areas to meet the rise in demand of Shari’ah-based investments.

Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker, Executive Director – Financial Institutions Supervision, Central Bank of Bahrain presented the award to Hasan S. AlJabri, Chief Executive Officer, SEDCO Capital at the conference luncheon and award ceremony held along the sidelines of the 9th Annual World Islamic Funds and Financial Markets Conference (WIFFMC 2013).

Receiving the award, Hasan S. AlJabri said: “it is indeed an honor for us to receive such a prestigious award and this award is a testament of our ability to provide sustainable long-term asset growth and steady income to our clients with a unique and customized service that exceeds expectations. This award is recognition of the commitment and dedication of our people and is a reflection of the success of our processes, products and guiding principles. Over the years SEDCO Capital has become a partner of choice for institutional and high net worth investors with whom we share our best-in-class expertise and access to prime investment opportunities globally. SEDCO has launched, sponsored and co-sponsored a diverse range of Shari’ah-compliant funds and each of these funds has been structured to provide consistent returns above industry benchmarks.”

“We are extremely delighted to have been voted the WIFFMC Islamic Investment Company of the Year 2013 and we would like to thank the Government of Bahrain for their continuous support over the past 3 decades for the Islamic finance industry. We would also like to thank the organizers of the World Islamic Funds and Financial Markets Conference (WIFFMC 2013) for their professional approach in bringing the industry practitioners together in such a prestigious forum”, he added.

Leading players, industry thought leaders and key regulators in the international Islamic funds and investments industry gathered in Bahrain for the 9th Annual World Islamic Funds and Financial Markets Conference (WIFFMC 2013) – the world’s largest and most influential annual gathering of Islamic investment leaders.

AHN

Dr. Mirza discusses Ways of Cooperation and Coordination between Electricity and Water Authority and Supreme Council for Environment

Manama, May 16th (BNA) –Minister of State for Electricity and Water Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hussain Bin Ali Mirza received today the CEO of the Supreme Council for Environment, Adel Khalifa Al Zayani.

At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Mirza welcomed Dr. Adel Al Zayani, and lauded the role of the Supreme Council for Environment, and his efforts to create a sustainable environmental policy through the preparations of studies, and implementing ambitious plans.

Dr. Mirza, who is a member of the Supreme Council for Environment discussed with its CEO a number of issues of common interest, and ways of coordination between Electricity and Water Authority and the Supreme Council for Environment in implementation of the directives of the Personal Representative of HM the King, the Chairman of the Supreme Council for Environment, HH Shaikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Khalifa. This is achieved in the framework of the performance’s integration between all the state’s institutions.

Dr. Adel Khalifa Al Zayani expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the minister on his sustainable contact and keenness to develop joint cooperation and also his understanding of all the various issues discussed, and in the same time lauding the great efforts by Electricity and Water Authority to provide the best services to all subscribers in the Kingdom.

MR

BNA 1605 GMT 2013/05/16