Istanbul, (BNA) Industry and Commerce Minister Dr. Hassan Abdulla Fakhro is leading Bahrain’s delegation to the 30th session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation “COMCEC” which, being held on November 25 – 28 in Istanbul, Turkey.The delegation features Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Chairman
Istanbul, (BNA) Industry and Commerce Minister Dr. Hassan Abdulla Fakhro is leading Bahrain’s delegation to the 30th session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation “COMCEC” which, being held on November 25 – 28 in Istanbul, Turkey.
The delegation features Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Chairman Khalid Al-Moayyed and officials representing Government departments and the private sector, including the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning, Central Bank of Bahrain and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.
The Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr. Hassan A. Fakhro mentioned delivered the following speech:
At the beginning I would like to take this opportunity to extend the greetings of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, the Government and people of Bahrain to his Excellency President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Government and the people of the friendly Republic of Turkey.
We greatly appreciate this generous invitation, the excellent organisation of this important 30th session of COMCEC, and of the attendant events; and of course for the warm reception which we always receive in Turkey.
The past year has continued to be one of challenges for the Islamic world. Whilst a number of countries, like Bahrain, managed to avoid much of the contagion from the global crisis, and the developing countries as a whole continue to show positive growth rates much above those of developed countries, nevertheless, and with the developed countries continuing to struggle against the forces of recession, the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) countries face several challenges because of geopolitical issues that contribute in the flight of foreign capitals, weak national currency and increase in inflation in a group of OIC countries, which has far reaching political, economic and social ramifications.
Yet it is not all doom and gloom, the OIC countries intra merchandise trade is on the increase, and we need to double our efforts towards closer trade and economic cooperation, and to use appropriate mechanisms to benefit from each other’s experience and expertise.
“There is a need to focus on develop various economic and social programmes in all parts of the Islamic world, this could be achieved through joint efforts, coordination and promising and comprehensive strategy, with Free Trade one of its cornerstones. There is no doubt that attaining WTO membership, is a major step to create such a free and open environment for trade, and hope to welcome the rest of OIC countries – in the near future. Bahrain has benefited immensely from its founding membership of the WTO, and we clearly know the extol the virtues of achieving global free trade, and of the multi-lateral trading system. At the same time we also believe that bi-lateral and pluri-lateral agreements can play an important role in facilitating the multi-lateral system, particularly in the light of the stalled Doha Round.
Those agreements have additional values in reinforcement of progress in the local market changes and push the private sector to play its role as the engine for economic growth. We do support the private sector and in particular SMEs, as they do, by far the lion’s share of output and employment. The global importance of SMEs spans both developing and developed countries, North, South, East and West; they are, if you will, the embryo of economies. Tourism is also of great importance, as tourism industry is one of the main engines of the economy in any country whatever its prosperity or resources. It is truly the future industry as services and investments sector that is economically, socially and culturally productive.
To reinforce the role of partnership between public and private sectors in tourism development in our countries, we suggest several elements to reach advanced global levels in this field, they are:
First: Develop Infrastructure of Tourism Industry: This required to look at tourism as integrated system, in line with a global perspective and with the contemporary changes and requirements, and to develop a comprehensive strategy and a national plan for the development of infrastructure for the tourism industry, and raise the volume of tourist revenue, to achieve sustainable tourism development in accordance with international standards.
Second: Achievement of Practical Partnership between Public and Private Sectors: Based on clear principles of transparency and serious dialogue, and reinforcement of equal opportunities under the power of laws, to achieve the main required tourism development standards.
Third: Make Unremitting Efforts for Tourism Marketing and Promotion: Through plans and programmes to attract investments and interact with other markets, for highly efficient tourism that is an industry with constant revenue in the economy.
Fourth: Continuation of Human Skills Growth to Develop Tourism Industry: Through rehabilitation prior to ongoing on-job services and training to assist in attracting citizens to join jobs in this sector and develop tourism product in accordance to international standards.
Fifth: Update of Laws and Systems: To reflect the contemporary spirits, globalization requirements and modern tourism industry for legislations, systems and regulations to contribute to this vital sector after the adoption of complete transparency in all related cases, and achieve practical and clear partnership between the two sectors that includes flow of local and foreign tourism investments.
We are appreciative of the continuing work of the OIC institutions, in creating a co-operative environment; I believe that the current climate in which the OIC countries find themselves increases the importance of the work of COMCEC in enhancing economic and trade cooperation, and we look forward to progressing with the implementation of the COMCEC strategy, and to positive outcomes from this 30th Session of the COMCEC.
Together and on the same side, we are a lot stronger and more productive. Despite that our Bahrain is small in size but it is large with ambitions and has many aspirations, many principles, open policies and 100 % foreign ownership, and the doors are wide open for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), with the leadership of His Majesty the King remains the light and the vision that guides us.
The Kingdom of Bahrain was built on noble tradition of tolerance and the rule of law, and very keen to uphold freedom, transparency and fairness in spite of hostile motives and terrorism from within and outside our borders.
Back to the start, tourism remains an important tributary for all; it calls upon as for joint work and a strategy based on reality to take the ship of joint Islamic work to the targets of tourism first and without doubt in all aspects of the economy. (Industry and Commerce Ministry)