6 10 14 15 16 17 20 30 31 33 34 35 33 SNAPSHOT Bahrain in figures COUNTRY PROFILE Island of empires: The kingdom has been a global trade centre for centuries One from many: The GCC has become a catalyst for collaboration and mutually beneficial development Interview: Hala Mohammed Al Ansari, Secretary-General, Supreme Council for Women Viewpoint: David Cameron, UK Prime Minister Trading up: Both internal and external GCC trade have increased considerably ECONOMY An environment for growth: Maintaining high rankings and a positive outlook in spite of global financial troubles Interview: Mahmood Hashim Al Kooheji, CEO, Mumtalakat Emphasis on employment: Development of labour-intensive industries is a priority Interview: Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, Chairman, Tamkeen Interview: Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Chairman, Mumtalakat Building up: Rapid population growth highlights the need for infrastructure development A model for success: New focus on policies for SME development BANKING Steady wins the race: New strategies are being considered for conventional and Islamic banks Interview: Ali Moosa, Senior Country Officer for Bahrain, JP Morgan Licensed to bank: Mergers between retail and wholesale operations are expected as the market responds to changing conditions Offering support: Priority is being given to small businesses CAPITAL MARKETS Opportunity-risk ratio: Steadily developing the exchange for long-term returns Interview: Fouad Rashid, Director, Bahrain Bourse Developing a niche: A new bourse has the potential to boost liquidity ISLAMIC FINANCIAL SERVICES Spring forward: Consolidation and greater overall capacity will boost performance Come together: Recent mergers have set a good example for the future Interview: Mohammed A Rahman Bucheerei, CEO, Ithmaar Bank Interview: Aabed Al Zeera, CEO, International Investment Bank Bright future: The market for Islamic bonds is promising INSURANCE Healthy prospects: The proposed implementation of compulsory medical insurance promises to boost revenues Interview: Zakareya Sultan Al Abbasi, CEO, Social Insurance Organisation 86 95 96 97 99 101 ENERGY Innovative techniques: Rising demand necessitates a search for other sources Interview: Adel Khalil Al Moayyed, Chairman, BAPCO Interview: Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza, Minister of State for Electricity and Water Affairs Outside the box: Solar and wind energy stand out as alternative sources of power Lifting liquid gold: A wider variety of extraction techniques are being examined On the grid: Fibre optics and an expanded transmission system are in the works TRANSPORT Strong linkages: Plans to improve infrastructure and expand the main airport Interview: Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation Port to port: Changing global trade patterns add importance to maritime shipping Moving the masses: Public transport set to grow with added focus on infrastructure REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION Toward stability: Taking advantage of the slowdown to focus on affordable housing Interview: Essam bin Abdulla Khalaf, Minister of Works Residential property: The housing market is beginning to stabilise Build up: The recovery of the economy is mobilising the sector Interview: Mohammed Khalil Alsayed, CEO, Ithmaar Development Company Interview: Christopher Sims, CEO, Naseej Funds for the future: Regional resources are being aimed at social needs INDUSTRY Looking to the future: Maintaining its edge and opening up to new opportunities Full of possibilities: Downstream industries Interview: Chris Potter, CEO, Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard Interview: Tim Murray, CEO, Alba Keeping options open: The government is keen on increasing foreign investment True as steel: Continued investment and expansion will generate further growth TOURISM Consolidating recovery: A unique heritage and growing MICE segment boost diversification All aboard: Efforts to energise the sector through cruise ship tourism gain traction Widening its appeal: Better accommodation and more business visitors aid the hotel trade EDUCATION Training for diversity: An international-standard system excels in educating women Interview: Garry Muriwai, Director, Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance Invested in innovation: An array of projects target research and development Job ready: Domestic institutions are taking steps to meet changing labour needs HEALTH Slow and steady: Health care continues to be a priority for the government Expanded treatment: Plans to diversify the range of facilities are moving forward TELECOMS & IT Future oriented: Operators to offer next-generation mobile broadband services Roundtable: Sheikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Chairman, Batelco Group; Ulaiyan Al Wetaid, CEO, VIVA Bahrain; Mohammed Zainalabedin, General Manager, Zain Bahrain Need for speed: Mobile broadband infrastructure coming on-line Innovative solutions: Efforts to upgrade infrastructure and promote e-services Getting up to speed: Increasing internet penetration through a broadband network LEGAL FRAMEWORK Zu’bi & Partners New oversight: Regulations covering the marketing of unauthorised financial services Mixed views: A look at the new labour law Swift resolution: A new centre offers a forum for mediation and arbitration Viewpoint: Qays H Zu’bi, Senior Partner, Zu’bi & Partners THE GUIDE Hotels: A rundown of the island’s offerings Listings: Ministries, embassies and services Facts for visitors: Information for travellers