1st International Entrepreneurs Investment Forum

Under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, The Prime Minister of Bahrain, the First International Entrepreneurs Investment Forum (IEIF) on “Entrepreneurship and Investment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development” was officially inaugurated on January 20th by HH Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa the Deputy Prime Minister in the presence of HE Mr. Li Yong, the UNIDO Director General and a number of senior officials and dignitaries.

The IEIF forum was organized in cooperation with General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture for Arab Countries; the Islamic Development Bank; the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and through the support and sponsorship of the Arab International Center for Entrepreneurship & Investment, Global Entrepreneurship Network, International SME Network (INSME), MENA OECD Investment Center, the arab Thought Forum, the Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture; EU-Africa Chamber of Commerce, the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce, Al Baraka Bank, Bank Al Khartoum, the Bahrain Development Bank, Tamkeen Bahrain, Entrepreneurs Organization-Bahrain Chapter, the Arab Businesswomen Council, and the Bahrain Businesswomen’s Society.

The IEIF forum was attended by 800 entrepreneurs from 80 countries. The forum sessions, with 85 experts and speakers, showcased best practices and highlighted a number of vital topics that are key in the development and success of entrepreneurs and MSMEs namely; Fostering Entrepreneurship Development; Financial Mechanisms for Entrepreneurship Development; Gender Dimensions of Entrepreneurship; Support Institutions for Entrepreneurs -Role of Chambers; Role of business infrastructure (industrial parks and zones); and an entrepreneurs debate entitled “Entrepreneurship Development: challenges, opportunities and recommendations”.
As a result of the entrepreneur’s debate and the two days of deliberations the “Manama Declaration 2015 on Entrepreneurship for Development” has been derived. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain has already communicated this declaration to its permanent mission in New York and has requested that it be circulated as a document of the General Assembly within its current 96 session under agenda item 19 “Sustainable Development”. It is worth noting that HE Mr. Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General has sent a special message praising the forum and its drive towards entrepreneurship development. (Attached for your ease of reference)

A platform for Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur were also organized through which 1000 Bilateral meetings were held, thus resulting in the signing of 88 letters of intent between entrepreneurs.

A permanent secretariat has been established for IEIF Forum at the UNIDO Arab International Center for Entrepreneurship & Investment in Bahrain in order to review and follow up on the progress moreover, to identify additional areas of cooperation and action to promote investment in entrepreneurship. Ultimately the goal is to organize the IEIF on a yearly base once in Bahrain and once in any country which requests to host it. It is worth noting that Dubai has already officially requested to host the IEIF 2016.

During the IEIF Forum the MoUs between UNIDO and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and Intel Corporation were signed.

As an integral part and in parallel to the IEIF forum a number of events were also organized namely:
  • “The International Green Economy and Technology Forum” was organized under the Patronage of His Royal Highness Shaikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Personal Representative of His Majesty, the King President of the Supreme Council for Environment.
  • The Arab Youth Conference was organized on January 21st under the patronage of HRH Prince Al Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan, President of the Arab Thought Forum; which was officially inaugurated by HRH Princess Rahma Bint El Hassan of Jordan. The forum was attended by 150 Arab entrepreneurs, think tanks, economic activists and youth development experts from 22 Arab countries.
  • The Innovation process and productivity workshop which was held by UNIDO in cooperation with the MENA OECD Investment Center and that was attended by 100 experts.

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