The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) has launched a fast-track setup program for fintech startups in the region to boost their initiation and growth process.
For the longest time, hydrocarbons like oil and gas have been the backbone of the middle-eastern economies. The oil-exporting Arab countries have enjoyed a monopoly and continue to hold an influential position in this highly capital intensive market. However, despite their diversity in size, demographics and abundance of resources and wealth, the middle east is struggling to create jobs and develop new sectors. After all, hydrocarbons are exhaustible resources.
UAE’s push for blockchain and fintech startups
Thus, in an attempt to look beyond oil and gas, the middle eastern economies are now turning to blockchain and other emerging technologies to diversify their economic portfolio. And with the same fighting spirit, UAE is pulling out all the stops to emerge as the new fintech hub and a hotbed for cryptocurrency and blockchain developments.
While it was UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority last month that drafted regulations on crypto assets to offer more clarity on the upcoming projects in the field, it was the Ministry of Health and Prevention in Sep, that grabbed the headlines for embracing blockchain for streamlining healthcare data documentation. Along the same lines, Dubai simplified business registry in the region with blockchain and continued with its efforts to emerge as a fully blockchain-empowered city.
Bahrain enters the race with fast-track process for new businesses
Now, it seems like it is Bahrain’s turn to step up the game. On 29th October 2019, the investment promotion entity for Bahrain, EDB, announced an accelerated setup process for fintech startups in the region who are looking to leverage the benefits of the business environment and startup ecosystem.
The new initiative will expedite the entire initiation process, including visa requirements, residency and business registration. It will also offer guidance from the country’s business incubators and provide financial backing when required.
In its official statement, EDB commends Bahrain for its remarkable efforts in the field and offering a better business platform, than its neighbours, by openly embracing upcoming technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
The Kingdom’s robust yet flexible regulatory framework has provided new-age technologies a platform to flourish, in a way other jurisdictions simply have not. Now, with a fuss-free approach setting up business in Bahrain, there is no better way to spread across the one and a half trillion US dollars ($1.5 trillion) worth Gulf market, EDB states.