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In what could be termed a very important move toward pitching Bahrain as the Middle East and Africa’s premium startup and investment hub, the Bahrain Economic Development (EDB) visited the UK to participate in the Innovate Finance Global Summit 2018.

Held in London on 19-20 March, the summit saw the EDB team briefing investors and business leaders from around the world about the various changes and new policies implemented over the past few years to make the country a hotbed for entrepreneurial success.

The delegation representing the Kingdom consisted of HE Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB); HE Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of EDB; HE Zayed bin Rashid Alzayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism; along with senior executives representing the private sector.

The summit provided a platform for the world’s leading investors, financial institutions, regulators, policymakers, and trade bodies to network, exchange ideas, and discuss various issues about the evolving FinTech and startup ecosystems.

“Bahrain’s long history as a leader in Islamic finance, paired with a strong track record in creating the right environment for businesses to adapt quickly to new technologies, means that we are fast becoming a key driver of growth in the Islamic FinTech industry,” said HE Khalid Al Rumaih in a discussion on Islamic finance hubs in the world that explored different avenues for creating more scope for global cooperation among stakeholders.

He added: “Bahrain FinTech Bay, MENA’s largest FinTech hub, launched last month and we are looking forward to seeing different players in the sector come together to create truly innovative FinTech and Islamic FinTech solutions.”