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Entrepreneurs shaping the future—WIEF 2024 

A cornerstone event that gathered entrepreneurs from across the world held in Bahrain, focussed on leveraging technology and private sector partnerships and underscored Bahrain’s commitment to economic innovation and development.

The 5th World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum (WEIF) held under the high patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, was inaugurated by Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa.

The opening ceremony was attended by notable figures, including Arab League Secretary General Dr Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and was marked by a panel discussion on “The World in 2025” featuring Shaikh Salman, alongside Dr Aboul Gheit, and UNIDO Global Partnerships and External Relations Deputy Director General and Managing Director Fatou Haidara.

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The forum aligned with Bahrain’s strategic initiatives led by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and HRH Prince Salman, aimed at objectives aligning with the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030. It also set the stage for the Bahrain Economic Vision 2050.

Shaikh Salman emphasised Bahrain’s continuous implementation of strategic plans under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister. These plans are integral to achieving the goals of the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 and the nation’s economic recovery plan. He highlighted the preliminary discussions surrounding the formation of the Bahrain Economic Vision 2050, stressing the importance of leveraging all available resources and integrating technological advancements, particularly in artificial intelligence. Additionally, he underscored the critical role of the private sector as a key driver and active partner in Bahrain’s economic development.

Following the panel discussion, Shaikh Salman inaugurated and toured the WEIF exhibition, where he engaged with business owners and reviewed their entrepreneurial artwork and innovations. The exhibition served as a dynamic platform for showcasing the creativity and business acumen of participants from various sectors.

The event, a pivotal gathering for the global entrepreneurial community, was held in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Investment and Technology Promotion Office in Bahrain, the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), the Secretariat General of the Arab League, the Union of Arab Chambers, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD).

During the event, several prominent figures were honoured for their outstanding contributions to promoting the culture of entrepreneurship. They included:

Bahrain Bayan School chairperson, Bahrain Institute for Political Development deputy chairperson Dr Shaikha Mai bint Suleiman Al Otaibi, founder of the Safeya Ali Kanoo Hub, Safeya Ali Mohammed Kanoo, and Ammar Basheir Creative Studio founder Ammar Basheir.

The WEIF2024 brought together participants from 84 countries, including experts and specialists, to discuss a wide array of topics pertinent to entrepreneurship and innovation. The forum addressed the creation of a conducive environment for entrepreneurial ventures, the building of sustainable partnerships between Arab and African entrepreneurs, shifts in investment paths to achieve sustainable development goals and digital transformation, advancements in agricultural technology to ensure food security, and the role of universities and educational institutions in supporting economic growth.

The forum marked a significant milestone in Bahrain’s ongoing efforts to create and nurture a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and reinforced its position as a hub for innovation and economic development in the Gulf region.

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