His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa said that economy comes before politics and that security is an essential requirement for of them. "There is no economy without security and no security without economy, and, therefore, reinforcing the law is the best way to safeguard stability so that openness and reforms yield fruitful results," he said, calling for the need to benefit from stability to enhance openness, take advantage of openness to boost trade and keep business away from politicization. "Merchants should join ranks with the government in order to make Bahrain a favourable destination for investors and visitors. We share the same goal of having a secure and stable country with prosperous economy and productive citizens who benefit from their nation's wealth," he said. Speaking as paid a visit to the Shaikh Isa Cultural Centre where the elections of the 28th Board of Directors of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) are held, HRH Premier vowed support to any new BCCI Board. The new board will be the "choice on which merchants agreed and the government will provide it with all kinds of support," he added. The Prime Minister met candidates and voters and got assured on the voting process and the smoothness of the procedures. HRH Premier held meetings with heads of electoral blocs, candidates and former BCCI Board members and discussed with them trade and economic affairs in the kingdom. In this regard, HRH Premier lauded the crucial role played by BCCI throughout history and its positive contributions to boosting trade, consolidating the role of the private sector in the economic and development fields. He described BCCI Board's elections as both a "trade and national" event in which candidates and voters showcase a good image of the kingdom's diverse and cohesive national fabric. "All are winners today, and every one can contribute to national work, be it in BCCI Board or outside. Bahrain embraces all, without discrimination, and this is the source of our strength," he said. He added that "such a gathering is a source of strength not only for BCCI, but also for Bahrain, and undoubtedly, the results of the elections will reflect positively on the kingdom's economy in the coming years thanks to the efforts of the Bahraini citizens in Beit Al-Tijjar." HRH Premier congratulated the business community on BCCI elections, expressing hope that it will usher a new phase in which BCCI consolidates its contributions to the progress and renaissance witnessed by Bahrain in all fields as it has always done, being the first chamber in the GCC region. The Prime Minister praised Bahraini women's positive participation in BCCI Board's elections, which, he said, is a compelling evidence of the Bahraini society's openness and empowerment of women in the economic and trade fields, along with the political and social ones. He stressed that women's participation in the elections of BCCI reflects Bahrain's openness and efforts to create all conditions for women to contribute to the nation-building process, along with men. HRH Premier emphasised that "security is a basic pillar for any economic renaissance, and its importance and effects match those of trade, so all sides are required to place national interests at the top and leave no room for anything that may impede the road to developing the nation. He said that legislations and laws regulating the trade sector can be reviewed and adapted regularly according to the needs of traders and investors. Nothing can prevent reviewing or re-considering laws as long as the goal is to serve public interest and consolidate the competitive potentials of the economy, he explained. Candidates and voters lauded HRH Premier's pioneering role in the kingdom's milestone economic achievements which has entitled it to be a model in various economic and trade fields. They added that the positive results of the solid economic basis spearheaded by HRH Premier are still been enjoyed by all economic sectors, stressing that the Premier's support for the trade sector is the source and secret of its boom and success. They also hailed the government's initiatives to spur the commercial activities, and small and medium enterprises, as well as its incentives and facilities that promoted Bahrain as a trade and economic hub. BCCI Chairman Dr. Essam Abdulla Fakhro and members of its Board extended sincere thanks and appreciation to HRH Premier for the visit reflecting his constant approach to back the trade and economic sector. HRH Premier toured the electoral venue and urged easy procedures for voters and candidates. He also exchanged cordial talks with the citizens, traders and owners of SMEs, and was informed about their proposals and visions on the future of the trade sector in Bahrain. They expressed sincere thanks and appreciation to HRH Premier for his constant keenness to reach out to the citizens and members of the trade community in order to be informed about their needs.