Fin Tech Focus

FinTech fast track

November 13 - 19, 2019

Gulf Weekly Naman Arora
By Naman Arora

Gulf Weekly FinTech fast track

The Economic Development Board (EDB) has announced a “fast track setup process for start-ups globally looking to take advantage of the business environment and start-up ecosystem in Bahrain.”

The fast track process will be a complementary service offered through a dedicated concierge. According to representatives at the EDB, this will include assistance with residency, visa requirements and business registration, guidance from Bahrain’s incubators and accelerators, as well as access to their networks and programmes that will provide businesses with the connections they need to grow, to expand and access to grants and financial support.

With this move, the EDB appears to be signaling in particular to blockchain and cryptocurrency start-ups that often find themselves stuck in red tape around the world.

The kingdom’s pioneering, agile and flexible regulatory framework allows it to regulate emerging technologies in a way other jurisdictions simply cannot.

Pakiza Abdulrahman, manager of business development – start-ups at EDB, said: “With a hassle-free approach to setting up businesses in Bahrain, there is no better base to scale across the growing $1.5 trillion Gulf market. Start-ups can benefit from operating costs up to 40per cent lower than other GCC neighbours.”

Bahrain’s initiatives to strengthen its position as a financial hub include the launch of its regulatory sandbox for cryptocurrency start-ups in February 2019. As reported by the GulfWeekly earlier, it also the first in the region to fully licence a crypto exchange platform set up in the country, Rain.

Furthermore, leading financial group Frankfurt main finance’s managing director, Hubertus Vath, recently lauded the country’s regulators, saying in comments to our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej: “We have benefited from experiences of competent authorities in Bahrain particularly the EDB in this regard as Frankfurt seeks to attract investments taking advantage of opportunities created by Brexit.

“If the UK leaves the European Union, London Financial Centre will lose no less than £1.3 trillion, of which more than £750 million will be directed to Frankfurt. Major international companies and banks have chosen Frankfurt financial hub as their new European base instead of London, which will help create significant investment opportunities for Gulf banks in Frankfurt.”

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