His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander, First Deputy Prime Minister instructed to further streamline, simplify and increase the efficiency of the procedures with a view to carry-out business and economic activities in the Kingdom of Bahrain in line with the Economic Vision 2030.
Adopted by the esteemed government of Bahrain, Industry and Commerce Minister H.E. Dr. Hassan bin Abdullah Fakhro has announced the launch of the pilot phase of the new Business Licensing Integrated System (BLIS) as a unified and integrated directory for setting-up businesses in the Kingdom.
The announcement was in conjunction with the eGovernment Authority (eGA), the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), along with all relevant government entities in relation to commercial licenses.
The declaration came about at the press conference held yesterday in the presence of H.E. Dr. Hassan bin Abdullah Fakhro, H.E. Mr. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed Minister of Transportation, EDB Acting CEO, Mr. Mohammed Ali Al Qaed eGA Chief Executive Officer, along with the development teams from several relevant organizations and regulatory government agencies, a selection of Bahraini businesspeople, lawyers, chartered accountants as well as individuals interested in Bahrain’s commercial sector.
BLIS aims at providing the right climate for attracting direct investments into Bahrain as part of the Economic Vision and stimulating economic growth by creating a favorable investment environment and benefitting from a competitive edge – provided by Bahrain through the use of the latest technologies in the same field.
During the press conference, the launch of the (Profiler) at the eGovernment portal (www.bahrain.bh/business) was announced, containing all relevant requirements, procedures, laws and regulations enabling over 1,600 commercial and industrial activities. The activities are in coordination with all governmental entities tasked with granting of licenses and reaching up to 20 entities such as the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs, Supreme Council for Environment, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Culture, General Organization for Youth & Sports, National Oil and Gas Authority, Central Bank of Bahrain, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Electricity & Water Authority, Information Affairs Authority, Ministry of Works, Ministry of Social Development, Medical Licensing Authority, and the Committee For Organizing Engineering Professional Practice.
The (Profiler) provides in-depth insights about the necessary steps and formalities to start and complete the commercial registration with much ease and convenience. The directory comprises all information pertaining to rules, procedures, and guidelines to be followed online in order to obtain commercial registers in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
It also provides an outline of the business environment in the Kingdom, rules for trade name reservations, selecting the legal business form, requirements for the registration and notation in the commercial register of the business, in addition to the concept of corporate governance, Anti-Money-Laundering and financing of terrorism.
On this occasion, H.E. Dr. Hassan highlighted the enormous support given to this project by HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. It has been instrumental in conducting the project’s work and streamlining the job of teams tasked with completion.
The minister also expressed his gratitude and appreciation to all relevant participating stakeholders in the implementation of this pilot initiative; particularly, EDB and the eGA, together with the representative teams of ministries, and government entities in charge of commercial and industrial licenses, and their contribution to create an advanced and high efficiency system in the process of registering and licensing businesses in Bahrain.
The Industry and Commerce Minister pointed that the ministry’s strategy aims to reinforce close cooperation and enhance full coordination with a view to developing mechanisms and joint policies between all competent entities tasked with licensing and approvals needed to carry-out business activities in compliance with the noble objectives adopted by Bahrain’s government in the achievement of sustainable development for its national economy.
The new integrated system for licensing and commercial registration has been off to a good start, HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa instructed to establish a higher commission chaired by H.E. Dr. Fakhro. It comprises representatives of 15 government entities at undersecretaries and assistant undersecretaries’ levels to upgrade the system and operations in order to electronically link-up.
The Korean LG CNS has won a tender in Bahrain and is considered as one of the largest global providers of turn-key integrated solutions with a wide experience in implementing government high-tech projects throughout the world. Project agreement was made between the eGovernment Authority and the Korean firm on the sidelines of the visit paid in May 2012 by HRH the Crown Prince to the Republic of South Korea, also attended by the Industry and Commerce Minister, the chairman of the Board of Directors of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as a significant number of Bahraini traders.
Following the launch of the new system’s pilot phase for information purposes and requirements for all government entities and investors are met, new applications will be admitted in 2014 – provided that the project is finalized, all previous data are transferred to the new system and the current system is to be suspended in 2015.
H.E. Mr. Kamal emphasized that the eGovernment Authority has placed within its National eGovernment Strategy 2016 the requisite approach to patronize entrepreneurship in conjunction with all relevant stakeholders, acting as official bodies to promote the private sector’s effective role as part of the ambitious framework adopted by the strategy – with a core focus on raising the level of efficiency, enhancing participation and effective cooperation among partners, as well as fostering entrepreneurship and business innovation.
The collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce came within this context, and on the other side, the Minister of Transportation commended the role of EDB aimed at supporting investment growth and attracting projects to reflect on Bahrain’s competitiveness at the regional level.
H.E. Minister of Transportation noted that BLIS is designed to act as a culmination and supplement to the joint efforts made to create an attractive investment environment and boosting the national economy in accordance with the objectives of Bahrain Economic Vision 2030.
BLIS constitutes a significant development for the performance of the governmental entities and dealing with commercial licenses upon completion of all phases in the course of one year. The new system will terminate all the paper-based systems in the registration process and license issuance at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and in the dealings with other entities for approvals. There are nearly 6,000 applications filed per month at the rate of 9 papers per application, the system will save over 54,000 paper packages on a monthly basis. It will also reduce the timeframe for filing the CR applications into 40 minutes.
Additionally, BLIS will notify applicants automatically via email or SMS about the completion of each licensing phase and transaction progress – offering all services including the filing and availability of applications on a 24×7 basis.
The timeframe needed for applications and licenses to be obtained will be significantly minimized without the need at most cases to check with the Bahrain Investors Center (BIC) or the competent authorities to carry-out the formalities.
The system offers all information in relation to rules, guidelines and steps to be electronically followed so as to obtain the CRs in Bahrain.
BLIS has checklists of the necessary steps to start conducting all commercial activities, along with the requirements of the relevant licensing entities.
Industry and Commerce Ministry Assistant Undersecretary of Domestic Trade Mr. Hameed Rahma provided a presentation which addressed the key objectives of this national project. He also offered simple explanations of the system’s components, its process re-engineering and the project’s schedule.
eGovernment Authority CEO Mr. Mohammed Ali Al Qaed highlighted that the authority is committed to provide support for its several partners through capacity-building as full participants in the society.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the eGovernment Authority urge potential investors interested in benefiting from the system in its pilot phase to call the National Contact Center on 8000 8001 in order to participate in the workshop and obtain feedback and comments about the system. The workshop will be conducted during the first half of January 2014 at the Bahrain Investor Center for the benefit of personnel from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, relevant ministries and a significant number of investors for the use of the new system- dealing with several issues which are to take place while being utilized.
For further information please contact:
Sahayer Ebrahim Al Hashimi
Kingdom of Bahrain
Tel: +973 17 388252
Fax: +973 17 388338