“Let me thank HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, for his support to the United Nations and his commitment to the SDGs. Having the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forums, 2015 and 2017 organized Under His patronage and full support is very much appreciated. “
Under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain the United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s (UNIDO) Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) in Bahrain organized the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum (WEIF) 2017 focused on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through promoting entrepreneurship and innovation. Experts and entrepreneurs from over 90 countries gathered at Exhibition Centre in Manama calling upon governments, the private sector, academia, civil society, media, and international organizations to facilitate the promotion of entrepreneurs and innovative enterprises by developing economic infrastructure and incubation management systems to ensure inclusive and sustainable development.
The Forum concluded with the strongest support for entrepreneurship and innovation as drivers of job creation, economic growth, and the realization of social gains. The international community was urged to incorporate entrepreneurship and innovation in all economic and social dimensions as key strategies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially at a national level.
The key role that entrepreneurs can play in bringing more jobs and prosperity to the Maritime-Continental Silk Road – the modern-day successor to the ancient trade routes linking Europe and Asia – was also highlighted during the Forum, as well as the importance of global impact investment.
“Women in Industry” was another key theme of the Forum; over 60 per cent of participants were women, this further highlighted the importance of the role of women in entrepreneurship for development. “We are united in our belief that the empowerment of women at all economic levels is crucial in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Entrepreneur-to-entrepreneur bılateral meetıngs were also a core component of the Forum programme. The importance of “strong partnerships between entrepreneurs, women and men alike, to share best practices in line with linking financial to non-financial services towards the development of entrepreneurs and MSMEs;” was also highlighted in the outcome declaration.
It is through the overwhelming success achieved during the WEIF 2015 held in Manama that UNIDO ITPO Bahrain in cooperation with its major partners is building on this momentum towards organizing the second edition of the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum 2017 under the theme: “Achieving the SDGs through Promoting Entrepreneurship & Innovation”
HH Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Advisor to HRH the Prime Minister officially inaugurated the WEIF 2017 in the presence of Mr. Hiroshi Kuniyoshi UNIDO Deputy Director General and a number of dignitaries and VIPs from around the world.
HH Shaikh Salman reiterated the keenness of the Government, chaired by HRH the Premier, on promoting Bahrain’s investment attractiveness through a
wide-ranging and comprehensive vision aimed at revitalising all economic
sectors and encouraging capitals and the private sector to seize the opportunities and invest in promising projects. He hailed the flux of foreign investments, stressing Bahrain’s business-friendly environment, openness, developed infrastructure and flexible laws which keep abreast of global trends.
HE Dr. Hashim Hussein, Head of UNIDO ITPO Bahrain and the Arab International Centre for Entrepreneurship and WEIF Executive Director.
“The WEIF 2015 was held under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain, under the theme “Entrepreneurship and Investment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development”.
The sizeable participation of 800 officials, experts and entrepreneurs from 80 countries has led to the “Manama Declaration 2015 on Entrepreneurship for Development” which was circulated in six languages as a document of the United Nations General Assembly, in its 69th session under agenda item 19 reference A/69/748. A permanent secretariat has been established for the 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.
Accordingly, the WEIF 2017 has become the only United Nations Global event covering entrepreneurship for development; clearly demonstrating the leading role of Bahrain as a major knowledge hub for entrepreneurship and MSME development through its strategic partnership with UNIDO.”