Tamkeen’s Business Continuity Support Program has supported over 10,000 small firms so far.

Applications made to Tamkeen are still currently under review and will expedite payments to businesses in heavily impacted industries. They have extended its support to cover taxi cabs, public transport and bus drivers, driving instructors and kindergarten workers. To read more click here.

Investor protection funds program ensures adequate treatment of unclaimed dividends.

Unclaimed dividends will now be addressed under a new investor protection funds program set up by the Bahrain Bourse. The ‘Amanat’ program covers investor protection and management, and administration of cash dividends for listed companies. Bahrain Clear, as the appointed asset manager, will ensure the appropriate mechanisms are in place including auditing and reporting. To read more click here.

Food sustainablity in Bahrain to get a boost from greenhouse development.

The Special Projects Office of the Ministry of Works, Municipality Affairs and Urban Planning has invited expressions of interest (EoIs) to develop two hydroponic greenhouses as part of the Food Sustainability Initiative. The winning bid will be based on the BOOT model – build, own, operate and transfer. To read more click here.

Infrastructure projects in Bahrain still going ahead in line with the objectives of the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030.

Bahrain is still committed to major infrastructure projects despite the current uncertainty felt around the world due to COVID-19. In quarter one of this year, a total of 372 tenders worth $740 million was awarded according to Bahrain Tender Board. Some of the key projects include Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) refinery modernisation project, Bahrain International Airport expansion and the fleet upgrade of Gulf Air.

To read more click here.

Optimistic view of the speed of Bahrain’s economic recovery post-corona

Economists and businessmen discussed the path of post-corona recovery phase in most sectors and were optimistic in Bahrain’s ability to recover quickly after Covid-19.

abc-bahrain.com, 26 April, 2020

Bahrain’s economy has sufficient flexibility to overcome the repercussions of the coronavirus crisis and it will be able to recover quickly once the precautionary measures are eased, heard a forum. Proact International Consultancy organised the “Economic Recovery” forum in Bahrain under the slogan “Post-Pandemic”, which was held remotely through live broadcasting.  

A group of economists and businessmen discussed the path of post-corona recovery phase in the banking, health, nutrition, tourism, hotels, technology, communications and media sectors at the forum. The forum’s speakers also reviewed investment opportunities and methods to meet the challenges and encourage the innovation required by the next stage. 

CEO of Proact International Consultancy and Secretary-General of the Forum, Dr Khaled Bomatia welcomed the forum participants, who reviewed the changes imposed by coronavirus and discussed how to overcome its consequences, especially in the most-affected sectors. Businessman Khalid Al Amin said the Bahraini economy has sufficient flexibility to overcome the repercussions of the coronavirus crisis, expressing his belief that the economy will recover quickly once the precautionary measures are eased. He pointed out that Bahrain’s openness and the integration of its economy with the other economies of the region and the world link the acceleration of this recovery to actions taken by other countries.

Journalist Ibrahim Al Tamimi said Covid-19 represents an opportunity to adopt new methods in the field of work, distance education, social communication, and others. He said the pandemic had once again demonstrated the cohesion and solidarity of Bahraini society and noted that post-corona economic recovery is linked to a large extent to the time taken to eliminate or control the virus. 

Dr Faisal Al-Nasser, head of the Home Health Care Center, emphasised that the epidemic had managed to change many concepts among people and governments, especially in health services.  “Some of the variables that occurred impose new priorities and establish how different health services should be in the post-pandemic phase, and this necessarily reflects on the prospects and opportunities for investment in the health field,” Dr Faisal added. 

Moanis Al Murdi, Editor-in-Chief of the Bahraini newspaper Al-Bilad, said: “There is an optimistic view of the speed of the economic recovery post-corona.  Unfortunately, most of the economic forecasts say otherwise and we need to understand the effects of the economic downturn that will last for decades and we will see a change in the economic landscape.” – TradeArabia News Service

The Bahrain International Circuit joins the worldwide fight against COVID-19 with Ministry approved ventilators.

Engineers from the Bahrain International Circuit have designed and produced ventilators for COVID-19 patients and are now available following approval from the Ministry of Health. The blueprints will be made available worldwide for free.

Constructionweekonline.com 22 April, 2020

Bahrain’s F1 circuit will produce hundreds of ventilators for COVID-19 patients – and share the blueprints free of charge worldwide.

Engineers from the track, which hosts the Grand Prix championship race each year, have designed a breathing apparatus in just two weeks for non-ICU patients in need of respiratory assistance.

The device was built from scratch in partnership with intensive care doctors from Salmaniya Medical Complex’s Respiratory Therapy Department and Medical Equipment Department.

An order was placed for the first 100 machines, following extensive testing and approval by Bahrain’s Ministry of Health.

Bahrain International Circuit is also sharing the blueprints free of charge to organisations around the world amid global efforts to increase ventilator capacity.

Initially, two different machines were designed and both have been approved – the first by design team lead and BIC mechanical engineer, Kamel Al-Taan, and the other by Tareq AlTajer.

Commenting on the initiative, the chief operating officer at Bahrain International Circuit, Fayez Ramzy Fayez said: “At a time of global crisis, we have been seeking ways in which the BIC can support the fight against COVID-19. Our engineers have met that challenge by designing a ventilator system specifically to support those suffering from COVID-19.”

Bahrain International Circuit has hosted the annual Formula One Championship since 2004, but this year the race was postponed as a precautionary measure.

Construction of the new exhibition and convention centre in Sakhir to begin soon

Work on the new state-of-the-art exhibition and convention centre located in Sakhir next to the Bahrain International Circuit will start in May and will be completed in two years. The project will be the largest of its kind in the region.

GDNonline.com 22 April, 2020

WORK on the new exhibition and convention centre in Sakhir is set to start on May 1, revealed Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Alzayani yesterday.

The BD83.6 million project next to the Bahrain International Circuit is expected to be completed in two years, and is aimed at giving a major boost to the country as a top MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) destination.

The announcement was made during parliament’s weekly session.

“The new state-of-the-art exhibition and convention centre in Sakhir will have 10 halls with a total area of 95,000sqm along with areas dedicated for retail and other facilities,” said Mr Alzayani.

He added that the facility will include a 4,500sqm conference hall which will be divided into three separate rooms equipped with latest technology.

“The project includes 27 small and medium conference and meeting rooms covering a total area of about 1,700sqm,” explained Mr Alzayani.

In addition, two VIP majlises and a parking lot that can accommodate 1,600 vehicles are also part of the master development.

The 308,000sqm exhibition and convention centre has a built-up area of 149,000sqm.

Commercial and industrial businesses in Bahrain that provide a direct service to customers are now able to resume trading on Thursday but must adhere to strict precautions.

Asharq Al-Awsat 8 Apr, 2020

Bahrain announced the resumption of commercial and industrial activities that provide direct services to customers as of Thursday, under strict precautions and health measures that include continuous sterilization, reducing the number of employees, working remotely as much as possible, and ensuring social distancing.

The announcement came in a press conference on Tuesday, in the presence of Fayekah Al-Saleh, Minister of Health, and Zayed al-Zayani, Minister of Trade, Industry, and Tourists, who in turn emphasized the closure of sports clubs, cinemas, buffets, cafes, and restaurants, except for food take-away and deliveries.

Zayani added that the concerned governmental committee has decided to resume commercial and industrial activities that provide services and goods directly to customers while taking the necessary health precautions and applying teleworking when possible.

The Minister of Health stressed that people in public places are required to wear masks.

For his part, Lt. Col. Manaf Al-Qahtani described as normal the increase in the number of people infected with the virus.

“But all these increases are within the pre-emptive precaution plans developed by the Kingdom of Bahrain,” he said, noting that the expectations indicate a further increase in infections next week.

Dammam- Obaid al-Suheimy

VA Tech Wabag wins Bahrain plant maintenance contract

abc-bahrain.com 8 Apr, 2020 VA Tech Wabag, a leading pure play water technology, said it has secured a five-year contract to operate and maintain its Al Madina Al Shamaliya (AMAS) sewage treatment plant. The BD4.5 million ($11.8 million) deal was awarded by Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs & Urban Planning (MoW) in Bahrain towards operation, maintenance and management of the Madinat Salman sewage treatment plant (STP) and a long sea outfall for a period of five years. With this new order, the company’s O&M order book has strengthened, which would help in the improvement of cash flows and better revenue growth. VA Tech Wabag is an India-based company, engaged in the business of water treatment field. The company’s principal activities include design, supply, installation, construction and operational management of drinking water, wastewater treatment and industrial water treatment as well as desalination plants.

Termination of monthly work fees announced by the LMRA

The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) has announced they will not charge the monthly work fees for the months of April, May and June. The termination of these fees aims to assist the private sector in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has undoubtedly impacted businesses. This follows the government’s recent announcement of an economic stimulus package to support the economy.
 
At PRIME it is business as usual. We are continuing to monitor all government announcements and initiatives and will continue to provide the same quality support services so there is no impact to you. Our offices are still accessible and you are able to work from your private serviced office while observing the social distancing and interaction guidelines.
 
We hope you stay safe and healthy and as always if you have any queries about how we can help you, please drop us a line.