Capital Club Bahrain, the Kingdom’s Premier Private City Club, held its annual Business Outlook event focusing on key industries in the Kingdom of Bahrain with an impressive line-up of speakers, attracting over 80 Club Members and guests.
Managing Partner of KPMG, Jamal Fakhro, moderated the panel discussion, which was sponsored by Elian. The speakers included Dr. Dawood Nassif, Advisor at the National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA); Talal Al Zain, Chief Executive Officer of PineBridge Investments; and Rami Alturki, President and CEO of Alturki Holdings.
The industry heavyweights shed light on the expected outcome of the Kingdom, focusing on the financial and energy sectors. The speakers also highlighted the Kingdom’s growing industries, future projects and expansion plans, and its development and investment prospects for 2015.
"We are here today to discuss the future of Bahrain economy in light of the recent changes in the Kingdom, across the region and globally. Last year, we anticipated a growth of 3.7% and the predication was spot-on, we witnessed a steady growth," said Jamal Fakhro.
Talal Al Zain discussed the economic themes that will emerge in 2015. He said in his speech, "two dominant macro themes will emerge globally in 2015, both will impact economic and market performance for several years to come. "The Federal Reserve is set to start a broader global rate hike cycle. Meanwhile in emerging markets we are looking at the beginnings of an economic reform cycle. The differentiator will be the degree to which emerging economies embrace and implement reform to implement growth. In emerging economies, we keep a keen eye on the Middle East and Africa."
With regards to the oil and gas industry, Dr Nassif said "we need to look beyond oil and gas and focus on the ‘energy industry’ overall. This is the hardest industry to predict; however with the collapse in oil prices it has triggered a sell-off in the oil and energy equities. This has created a more challenging outlook for the industry overall."
"We have a positive year ahead of us. Around six to seven projects are being progressed within the overall energy sector in Bahrain. This will further boost the economy, create jobs and attract investment," added Dr Dawood.
Further commenting on the overall outlook for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Rami Alturki said, "2015 will a big year for the Kingdom; we will witness a growth in the infrastructure industry with the world’s largest two projects kicking-off. However, the Saudi stock market will face a slow period next year."
"Our challenge lies in solving our Human Capital needs. Saudization remains the main obstacle due to lack of talent and skills required to fill vacancies," he added.
Capital Club's annual Business Outlook forum provides a platform for the region's leading business personalities to unite and discuss the Kingdom and region's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the coming year.
"We look forward to this event at the end of each year. Such insightful discussions highlight our aim to position the Club as the leading meeting point for business minds and a great opportunity for our Members to network", said Capital Club Bahrain’s General Manager, Dina Haikel
"It allows our members to listen to and learn from industry leaders about the future of business in Bahrain and the region," she added.