His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Chairman of the Economic Development Board (EDB) today chaired the EDB board meeting held at the organisation's headquarters at Bahrain Bay.

During the meeting, HRH the Crown Prince emphasised that Bahraini citizens continue to be placed at the core of the Kingdom’s development plans, in line with the vision of His Majesty King Hamad, and noted that the creation of high-quality jobs is a key component of the Kingdom’s inward investment efforts.

HRH the Crown Prince went on to highlight the EDB’s achievements during 2018, focusing in particular on efforts to further develop the Kingdom’s key sectors by boosting cooperation between the public and private sectors. HRH the Crown Prince further noted the EDB’s efforts in attracting international investments during last year.

HRH the Crown Prince stressed that, in line with its mandate to accelerate economic development and diversification, the EDB should continue to prioritise foreign investments and build on its achievements during 2018.

HE Khalid Al Rumaihi, EDB Chief Executive, then gave a presentation on the organisation’s achievements during last year. HE noted that the EDB was able to exceed its targets during 2018, successfully attracting foreign investments of BHD314m (USD830m) from 92 local and international companies. HE added that these efforts will contribute to the creation of more than 4700 jobs in the next three years.

His Excellency went on to outline the Board’s intention to target inward investment by further strengthening and actively promoting Bahrain’s supportive and competitive business environment. His Excellency noted the Bahrain’s strategic development plan will contribute to provide high quality jobs across the Kingdom’s strategic sectors.

His Excellency went on to highlight the results of an EDB survey into the effects of the fourth industrial revolution (industry 4.0), a trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. In this regard, His Excellency identified a number of challenges faced by the Kingdom’s industrial and manufacturing companies and concluded by proposing solutions to overcome these obstacles.

For its part, the EDB Board stressed that prioritising skills, infrastructure and legislative development to support emerging companies – especially in the FinTech sector – will help the Kingdom continue to attract robust investments in industrial technology and other sectors.