World Economy

Red Tape ‘Crippling’ Bahrain Growth

Red Tape ‘Crippling’ Bahrain Growth Red Tape ‘Crippling’ Bahrain Growth

Bureaucracy in the government system is crippling the growth of the national economy, highlighted Bahraini businessmen.

They stressed the need to tackle the ‘red tape’ at the major ministries and government agencies, which they said was posing a major challenge to start-up businesses and investors, TradeArabia reported.

The topic was raised during the meeting of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Entrepreneurs Committee titled ‘Funding and Insuring of Entrepreneurs’ Sunday at the BCCI headquarters in Sanabis.

Entrepreneur and Falak Enterprises chief executive Suhail Al Gosaibi said that the long wound procedures at the government level are killing the economy.

“As start-up businesses, the bigger hindrance than finding funds for business is the bureaucracy in the country, which is a challenge,” said Al Gosaibi. “The number of forms that has to be filled up, the documentation procedures and the time that it takes, is definitely not helping in any way.

“We had submitted our business plan to Tamkeen, which said that it was not Bahrain friendly. We were asked to change the commercial registration, which the industry and commerce ministry objected to, while Tamkeen insisted on it.

“It was almost seven months of wait, which was a waste of time and why would anyone spend so much time and energy in Bahrain, when in neigboring Dubai, everything is done within 24 hours?” he asked.

Al Gosaibi insisted that this situation must be tackled. “For the economy in Bahrain to grow, we need to tackle red tape and remove this bureaucracy. This is a major challenge that is harming the growth of our economy and in a way killing it. “Be it with the Tamkeen, Bahrain Development Bank, the Economic Development Board or the ministries, red tape must be tackled.”

Bahrain Business Women’s Society board member and BCCI Trade Exhibitions Committee head Feryal Abdulla Ahmed Nass pointed out that the business incubator system at the BDB was inactive. “It takes ages for entrepreneurs at the BDB to get things sorted out, which is not encouraging,” said Nass.

“At the same time, the business incubator system at the BDB is not making any progress nor is supporting beginners as what it was designed for,” she said.

The Bahrain Business Incubator Center established in June 2011 by the BDB was designed to provide infrastructure and technical support, together with entrepreneurship training.

“The start-up businesses are not benefiting from this system and the problem with small businesses is not finances but sustainability. I think there should be consultation centers to help small and start-up businesses to grow and expand,” she added.

BCCI board member and entrepreneurs committee vice chairman Hamed Fakhro suggested that all business related approvals be unified under the industry and commerce ministry. “To be able to attract foreign investment, we need to have simpler bureaucratic system,” said Fakhro.