New OBG report to chart Bahrain’s regulatory reform plans

Bahrain’s plans to put innovation at the heart of new growth and continue developing a more diversified, knowledge-led economy will be explored in a forthcoming report by the global research and advisory company Oxford Business Group (OBG).


The Report: Bahrain 2023 will shine a spotlight on the regulatory reforms that will be key in attracting investment for several sectors of the economy with high growth potential, including financial services, energy, transport and tourism.


The wealth of opportunities emerging within the field of ICT as the Kingdom’s digital transformation gains pace will be a major focus, it stated.


OBG will track the progress of ‘StartUp Bahrain’, a national initiative set up to support entrepreneurial activity within the technology sector. 


It will also consider the opportunities emerging for fintech companies, following the launch by the Central Bank of a ’Regulatory Sandbox’, that allows industry players and entrepreneurs to test innovative financial products and services in a controlled environment to ensure regulatory compliance while also building on the product/ service(s) and organization’s sustainability.


With the kingdom’s commitment towards decarbonization and achieving net-zero by 2060, the importance that investors are attaching to Environmental, Social and Governance principles in their decision-making is rapidly accelerating and the implications from a risk and opportunity perspective for businesses when devising their strategies and development plans is another topical issue set for analysis.


OBG has signed an agreement with KPMG in Bahrain to support its research. 


KPMG in Bahrain is an independent member firm of KPMG International, and one of the largest professional services firm in the Kingdom with a dedicated resident team based in Bahrain to support Audit, Advisory and Tax related services. 


Under the MoU signed by Jamal Fakhro, Managing Partner, KPMG in Bahrain, and Fernanda Braz, OBG’s Country Director in Bahrain, it will contribute to the Tax Chapter of ‘The Report: Bahrain 2023’ and other content for OBG’s suite of research tools.


On the deal, Fakhro said: "The marketplace is extremely dynamic and showing strong signs of recovery. While most businesses are recovering well, there are some businesses and specific sectors that are even experiencing pre-pandemic levels of revenues and operational efficiency."


"While digital transformation is driving the recovery in the marketplace, it is only effective if businesses strategically leverage it, and create a purpose-fit plan to ensure they can optimize their operations. There are a number of emerging risks within the marketplace that is disrupting the typical ‘business as usual’ mindset,"

he stated. 


He pointed out that issues like Cyber Security and ESG are rapidly gaining traction within board rooms, and are aligning themselves as KPIs within the Executive Management’s performance radars. 


"With the government announcing their intent around Corporate Tax, business leaders need to think through their strategies from a long-term perspective and invest in their tax-planning corporate structuring. This is critical, not just from a business sustainability perspective, but also in terms building stability within the marketplace," he added.


Braz said the research for OBG’s 2023 report had begun at a time when Bahrain’s plans for boosting investment through regulatory reforms and other incentives were gathering momentum.


"Bahrain is looking to build on its firm economic foundations, buoyed by a pipeline of infrastructure projects and increased trade activity, against a backdrop of higher global oil prices," she noted. 


The Report: Bahrain 2023 will contain contributions from leading personalities in the public and private sectors, including: Abdulla bin Adel Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce; Mohammed bin Thamer Al-Kaabi, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications; Sheikh Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, CEO, Bahrain Bourse; Maha Mofeez, CEO, Tamkeen; Usman Ahmed, CEO, National Bank of Bahrain; and Mikkel Vinter, CEO, Beyon.


On the KPMG partnership, Braz said: "With a longstanding presence in Bahrain, KPMG has an in-depth understanding of the kingdom’s evolving tax regime and related fields, including recent key developments in the corporate tax system and the introduction of e-invoicing." 


"I’m delighted that we will once again benefit from the expertise and experience of its representatives as we begin work on this important report," she added.-TradeArabia News Service





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