Bahrain Investment Market looks to attract ICT companies
The ICT sector, a key target segment for the recently-launched Bahrain Investment Market (BIM), an equity market for growing business ventures in Bahrain and the wider MENA region, received an in-depth look at the accessible capital-raising solutions in an orientation session organised by the Bahrain Bourse (BHB) for members of the Bahrain Technology Companies Society (BTECH).
ICT is an emerging player to Bahrain’s economy, with the transport and communications sector - which includes ICT - contributing more than seven per cent to the country’s GDP, a number that is expected to grow exponentially over the next decade.
“The ICT sector is of strategic importance to Bahrain’s vision to make the private sector the primary driver of economic growth and build a robust knowledge-based economy. Not only is the sector a key facilitator for business, but it is also as a major area of economic potential in terms of innovation and job creation,” said Commenting on the event, CEO of the Bahrain Bourse Sheikh Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa. “The ICT sector has also traditionally been a hotbed for investment as individual and institutional investors constantly looking for the next big thing. As an equity market designed for fast-growing companies looking to take the next step in their future, the Bahrain Investment Market is an ideal platform which connects business owners looking to raise capital with serious investors looking to be part of those companies’ long-term future.”
Chairman of BTECH Ubaidly Al-Ubaidly emphasised the importance of ICT sector to Bahrain’s development in the coming decades, stating, “In today’s globalised world, the ICT sector plays an ever-increasing role in the sustainable socio-economic development of society. As such, it was both interesting and encouraging to see how the Bahrain Investment Market will enable more investment in this critical sector and increase its contribution to the national economy.”
Al-Ubaidly further noted the importance of the BIM’s initiative in hosting the event, which serves to boost relations between the sector and the BIM and accelerate progress towards achieving Bahrain Vision 2030.
Bahrain is a leading regional ICT hub that ranks high in numerous important categories. The United Nations’ e-Government Readiness Report 2016 placed Bahrain ranked 11th globally in the telecommunications infrastructure index and led the Arab region’s ICT Index. Bahrain also ranked 4th globally in mobile broadband penetration and 5th in mobile penetration.
The World Economic Form’s Global Information Technology Report 2016 ranked Bahrain 24th globally in the ICT Usage Sub-index, which measures the readiness of the three pillars (individuals, business and the government) to use ICT.
Bahrain’s Investment Market, which was officially launched in March 2017 by the Bahrain Bourse, features easier admission and financial disclosure rules, access to global investors, guidance services through specialised professional advisory firms, a dedicated Tamkeen support programme, and many other benefits.