Dr Qaedi: creating value

Dr Qaedi: creating value

Export Bahrain helps expand SME footprint

December 2019

Building on Bahrain’s 2,000-year-old trading legacy, Export Bahrain has just completed one year of operation in helping boost exports for the Kingdom of Bahrain’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by identifying and capitalising on global market opportunities.

“We offer a range of export-based solutions through nine unique service lines, which are free to access for the business community, including those involved in the building materials and construction products sector,” Dr Nasser Ali Qaedi, the chief executive of Export Bahrain, told Gulf Construction.

In its first year as a key initiative of the kingdom’s national SME Development Board, Export Bahrain registered exports valued at over $15.5 million, with more than 30 exporters having expanded into 25 markets around the world, including the GCC countries, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, the UK, Morocco, Brazil, Canada, South Korea and many more.

Exporters engaging with Export Bahrain currently cover nine sectors and 21 product categories, including: manufacturing, fiberglass, furniture, foods, apparel and many more, as efforts continue to support exporters in all industries and sectors in Bahrain.

Export Bahrain’s export-based solutions aim to support the exporter through a service portfolio that includes export financing, export credit insurance, export shipment solutions, market intelligence, business-to-business facilitation and deal support. Its solutions, on average, reduce the cost of exporting by up to 70 per cent for SMEs through financing, insurance and shipment solutions, Dr Qaedi said.

Export Bahrain aims to accelerate the growth of businesses internationally by helping exporters to target new markets and access a global customer base; overcome barriers by providing unique solutions, tools and international networks; and provide value-added services to boost exports. It also creates an ideal export environment to support and develop national exports; and facilitates the right export leads and markets.

Export Bahrain has partnered with 40-plus commercial and diplomatic offices around the world that are ready to help exporters grow their business from Bahrain.

Bahrain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Zayed Rashid Al Zayani, who is the chairman of the SME Development Board, stressed the importance of Export Bahrain as a key support instrument for exporters in Bahrain. “Export development is a key priority for the kingdom and represents a clear opportunity to expand the footprint of Bahraini businesses internationally by providing the right solutions that will allow businesses of all sizes to tap into a global customer base. We will continue to build on the success of the first year of Export Bahrain and encourage a national export culture that will continue to position Bahrain as a key business hub for exporters,” he remarked. 

Dr Qaedi stated: “We are encouraged by the first year’s performance of Export Bahrain with 42 per cent of our exporters reaching new markets and where 38 new job opportunities were created, further resulting in export investments of more than $9 million in their export businesses, but we are not stopping there. These indicators exemplify the significant business and economic value exporters bring to the national economy, build on their growth potential to reach customers around the world and create new business opportunities and local content that will grow Bahrain’s brand presence internationally.

“We will continue to drive our efforts to provide every advantage to exporters in the kingdom and promote Bahrain’s products and services globally and support businesses to tap new markets and trade opportunities. Bahrain is a cradle of innovative industries and businesses with huge export potential and our solutions will continue to develop to encourage both product and service exports.”

Dr Qaedi said Export Bahrain has many more exciting plans in the pipeline that will raise the bar even further. These plans are expected to be announced shortly.

He noted that a key priority for Export Bahrain was to create value for customers and ease the process of exporting by working hand in hand with exporters through its local and international partnership network. Among such partnerships, Export Bahrain last month signed a memorandum of understanding with the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bahrain (FCCIB) to foster opportunities for Bahraini SMEs to export their products and services to the French market.

Moving ahead, we will further enhance our efforts to promote national exports and uplift the competitive capabilities of Bahraini businesses in global markets.”

Export Bahrain was established in November 11, 2018 In line with the directives of the Executive Committee chaired by HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister. It aims to provide an ideal environment to support and develop domestic exports and achieve Bahrain’s 2030 vision of ‘promoting our export-oriented sectors to ensure that Bahraini companies embrace the world markets for products and services’.

Export Bahrain works alongside local and international partners to offer Bahraini companies promising international trade opportunities, encouraging further expansion for Bahraini businesses to continue their sustainable and international growth.

To be eligible for Export Bahrain’s solutions, companies must have an active Bahraini commercial registration, startup and growing companies with revenues up to BD3,000,000 (as per MOICT’s definition of SMEs), and meet minimum standards of local production, goods manufactured or processed.

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