Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB), led by its Chief Executive H.E. Khalid Humaidan, cemented Bahrain’s position as a leading fintech centre amid its participation in the 8th edition of the Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) which brought together 500 exhibitors from 134 countries from around the world. In a dynamic agenda which included hosting at the Bahrain Pavillion, speaking at multiple panel discussions and strategic business meetings to connect with industry experts, entrepreneurs and key decision makers in the field, the participants showcased Bahrain’s competitive advantage to investors in financial services and fintech interested in tapping into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market.
Taking place between the 15th and 17th of November, SFF, saw a renowned line-up of leading global investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and experts in the fields of finance and fintech, convene for the enablement of growth and innovation in the sector.
The Bahrain Pavilion, which hosted representatives from Bahrain’s financial services sector, including Bahrain EDB the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), Bahrain Fintech Bay (BFB) and private financial services institutions were on the ground engaging with global fintech experts and thought leaders, to discuss relevant topics related to the development of financial services, and highlight opportunities across Bahrain’s business-friendly fintech horizon, owing to its forward-looking government and highly skilled, tech-savvy talent pool.
In a panel session titled ‘Global Policy Makers: Digitising Inclusion’ moderated by Bloomberg, HE Khalid Humaidan, the Chief Executive of Bahrain EDB highlighted the pivotal role digitisation in Bahrain played in promoting financial inclusion.
In another panel discussion under the title ‘Promoting Gender Diversity in the Fintech Workplace: Barriers and Best Practices’ the Executive Director of Business Development for Financial Services at the Bahrain EDB, Dalal Buhejji, pulled from her own experiences as a woman in finance to discuss how gender diversity can enhance efficiency and creativity.
In the masterclass session, ‘Fintech Evolution in the Arabian Gulf: From Regulation to Realisation’ participants from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), together with Bahrain Fintech Bay (BFB), examined the Arabian Gulf’s fintech sector highlighting its evolution, the regulatory framework and opportunities in Bahrain, and the GCC at large, for global fintechs.
Financial services sector is highest contributor to Bahrain’s economy, representing 17.5% of the real GDP. Under the Economic Recovery Plan, Bahrain aims to further develop the financial services sector with a focus on fintech sub-sector.