We have seen two important events over recent days. The first was an awards event for Bahraini entrepreneurs; showcasing business figures and companies which had achieved great things in their fields. The second was a series of events to commemorate the recognition of Manama as “the capital of Arab youth”.

These events are symbolically significant at this time, because with low oil revenues and high national debt, Bahrain must look to the young entrepreneurs of the private sector. It is the private sector which can help Bahrain diversify further away from dependence on oil and to stimulate innovation and revitalization of Bahraini business.

As well as the refreshing diversity of entrepreneurial enterprises being recognized; it was promising to see that around half of the awards were collected by women. This shows the positive result of efforts over the past few years by bodies like the Supreme Council for Women in assisting Bahraini women in starting businesses; helping nurture these businesses; and ensuring their success on the international stage.

With ever-increasing numbers of female graduates from Bahraini universities, it is increasingly true that many of the brightest and best Bahrainis entering the workplace are women. This is challenging traditional attitudes that men are preferable as employees; and is resulting in a significant shift in the demographic composition of the private sector.

We have seen massive investment being pledged to upgrade Bahrain’s national infrastructure and boost the hospitality and tourism industries. Many experts believe that the key to Bahrain’s future prosperity is in promoting tourism. Bahrain’s tolerant and family-friendly climate makes it ideally suited to welcoming in the outside world.

However, when millions of dinars are being invested in new projects, it is disappointing to visit many of Bahrain’s beaches and find that due to lack of small amounts being spent, these are not yet the world-class locations which would attract visitors. We hope to see a strategy for making the most of the beautiful and cultural locations which Bahrain already has.

In order to make the most of Bahrain’s human capital we hope to see greater efforts to ensure that Bahraini young people are provided with world-class skills to maximize their chances of success in the jobs market and take the Bahraini private sector to the next level.

These recent events show that we have much to celebrate in the achievements of our young people and entrepreneurs. They are Bahrain’s future and they deserve support in their role of reviving Bahrain’s economy and strengthening Bahrain’s position on the world stage.

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