His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa has deputised Deputy Premier Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa to attend the opening ceremony of the First International Entrepreneurs Investment Forum.
The forum, held under HRH Premier's patronage, is held on January 20-21, with the participation of more than 800 entrepreneurs from over 80 countries.
The Deputy Premier conveyed HRH Premier's greetings to all the participants, and wishes that the forum will provide a platform for them to take advantage of the world experiences and expertise and enter partnerships that develop entrepreneurs' enterprises.
He said that the kingdom's hosting of such a key world forum reflects its distinguished status and leading role in the field of entrepreneurship, praising the international appreciation of the Bahrain Model for Entrepreneurship Development and Enterprise Creation, being an exemplary model which many countries are keen to implement in order to develop entrepreneurship.
He affirmed the constant keenness of the government, led by HRH Premier, to encourage entrepreneurship through preparing and implementing training programmes for Bahrainis and motivating them to launch their enterprises, consolidate support to small and medium-sized companies and entrepreneurs through business incubators in order to increase their contributions to the national economy.
The Deputy Premier praised the advanced level of cooperation between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), valuing highly UNIDO's role in supporting the Government of Bahrain's plans and programmes to achieve sustainable comprehensive development through providing the necessary expertise and technical assistance for various projects and programmes.
Industry and Commerce Minister Zayed Al Zayed extended sincere thanks and appreciation to HRH the Prime Minister for patronising the forum.
He said that sustainable comprehensive development is the core of HM King Hamad's Economic Vision which prioritises the citizens who are the first beneficiaries of the economic and social development in the kingdom.
He affirmed that entrepreneurship, economic diversity and technological innovation are the main driving forces of economic growth, stressing the need to consolidate national and regional innovation systems through the participation of governments, academic centres and the private sector to focus an added value knowledge and create technology at the level of entrepreneurship.
UNIDO Director-General LI Yong expressed utmost thanks and gratitude to HRH Premier for patronising the forum and the kingdom's support for UNIDO's programmes.
He valued highly the long-standing strong partnership between Bahrain and UNIDO, and asserted that Bahrain had consolidated such partnership, citing mainly the establishment of the Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) in the kingdom in 1996 for the sake of encouraging and facilitating direct foreign investment.
He affirmed that Bahrain plays a leading role in implementing UNIDO's new vision and programmes, noting that the Lima Declaration in 2013, approved by UNIDO's 172 members, including Bahrain, had called for boosting sustainable comprehensive industrial development as the best means to achieve prosperity and better living conditions for billions of needy people across the world.
He expressed hope that the "Bahrain Declaration" will unleash the initiative spirit, and support the efforts of countries, the private sector and NGOs in implementing the UN initiative on "Entrepreneurship for Development".
Chairman of the Qatar Chamber for Commerce and Industry Shaikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani delivered a statement in which he expressed deep thanks to HRH the Prime Minister for patronising the forum.
He said the forum aims to approve the new UNIDO plan to achieve sustainable comprehensive development through increasing investments and relations among businessmen.
He added the forum crowns UNIDO's continuous efforts to promote comprehensive industrial development through empowering entrepreneurs and promoting entrepreneurship among youth, and small and medium-sized enterprises.