Officials from the Economic Development Board (EDB), led by Dr. Jarmo Kotilaine, Chief Economist at the EDB, attended the 6th annual FundForum USA held in Boston, Massachusetts. The Forum, which was co-sponsored by the EDB and KPMG featured multiple high-level guest speakers who were able to shed light on some of the key economic issues facing the world today. Dr. Jarmo Kotilaine chaired the activities held on the first day of the conference.
This year’s FundForum saw participation from over 250 key decision-makers from the finance sector from around the world, who were given the opportunity to explore global economic growth, as well as opportunities for further development. Members include CEOs / CIOs / Fund Managers and senior executives from the Fund Manufacturers, Multi-Managers, Fund of Funds, Retail & Private Banks, Insurance Companies, Fund Platforms, Investment Banks, Custodians, Transfer Agents, & their advisors.
FundForum USA one of the leading investment and mutual fund events launched in the USA in 2008, and now draws over 3,000 attendees to the events each year. It offers a platform for industry leaders to discuss various topics related to the finance sector generally, and more specifically, funds and investment in the American market.
Through its participation, the EDB is looking to strengthen and reinforce cooperation with various global financial sector representatives and to connect with leading banks to exchange expertise and opinions on main challenges and opportunities. The Forum provides a unique platform for meeting those key decision-makers and presenting them with Bahrain’s economic story and key competitive advantages, including its highly skilled national workforce, relative low operational costs, and high human capital development. Bahrain’s open investment climate is a great advantage for global companies and investors looking into diversifying their portfolios in the region, and in 2013, the EDB attracted 35 international companies to launch operations in the Kingdom, which is a part of the ongoing efforts to increase the flow of foreign direct investment into Bahrain.
Bahrain is considered one of the leading financial centres in the region, with over 400 financial institutions, over 120 of which are banks, with assets totaling around US$188.9 billion. The sector employs over 14,000 people, and Bahraini nationals make up 66% of the labour force in the sector.
The EDB has participated in various similar events recently, including the "2014 FundForum Asia", which was held in Hong Kong in April 2014, and saw participation from many leading experts and decision makers from key global financial centres.