Bahrain British Business Forum (BBBF) hosted its monthly business networking meeting at the InterContinental Regency Bahrain Hotel. A presentation by Paula Boast, BBBF Deputy Chair, focused on the effects of the impending Brexit and its impacts on business.
In her address, Ms Boast deliberated the possible outcomes and consequences of Brexit and the precautions businesses should take to minimise disruption to their business. Some of the expected major impacts include differences in accountancy and auditing, civil legal cases, structuring of businesses, data protection and intellectual rights, public procurement, business travel; visas, passports and border control, employing people, workplace rights and social security.
Practical advice in case of UK leaving the EU with no deal was given for businesses, as well as for people going to work in the EU.
Ms Boast outlined some possible effects of Brexit on the Middle East which could include weaker, more inward looking Europe, which might affect various initiatives across the region such as sustainability projects, infrastructure, governance guidance and healthcare. More interventionist, self-interested UK foreign policy in the region could see the UK trying to assert its position in the Middle East to maintain its relevance and influence. Brexit could also mean more volatility in the Middle East markets, with an increase in trade and investment, as well as increase in inflation. Impacts on imports and supply chain disruptions are also likely.
Ms Boast finished her presentation by highlighting the immediate impacts of Brexit locally including travel, investments, real estate and retail sectors.