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Launch of the First Business Leaders Conference “Connect 2 Innovate”

March 13, 2023

Manama, Mar.13 (BNA): The first Business Leaders Conference "Connect 2 Innovate" kicked off this evening, Monday, March 13, 2023, until March 15 in Manama, organized by Start-Up Nation Central, a non-profit organization that connects governments, companies and investors to the Israeli innovation ecosystem.

The event is held in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the EDB, and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in Israel, at the Wyndham Grand Hotel – Bahrain Bay.

The conference included a recorded speech by Israeli President Isaac Herzog, where he welcomed the guests of the first conference of business leaders " Connect 2 Innovate”.

He referred to his official visit last December and his meeting with HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

The president praised the culture of peaceful coexistence and religious tolerance in Bahrain and praised the initiative to host the first conference that gathers both nations, providing an opportunity for entrepreneurs and companies to communicate and share expertise, to build a foundation for a prosperous future of cooperation and economic relations between the two countries, to achieve common goals and interests.

He  expressed his thanks to the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mr. Abdulla bin Adel Fakhro, the EDB and STARTUP NATION CENTRAL for this wonderful initiative, wishing them all success and prosperity.

The Minister of Industry and Commerce Abdulla bin Adel Fakhro delivered a speech in which he stressed that Bahrain today represents a prominent investment center, while Israel is a famous center for research and development of modern technology.

By combining both our strengths, we have the ability to transform the region and work together to meet today's challenges and build a bright future for all.

He added that this event affirms the growing partnership between Bahrain and Israel, noting that it will address challenges facing financial technology, manufacture, logistics, water, energy, and climate sectors and identify new growth opportunities.

In addition to sharing experiences and best practices to find innovative solutions for technological ecosystem development and human capital investment.

The minister said that  the Kingdom of Bahrain is an attractive destination for startups in the field of innovation and technology through its youth, ambitious workforce with high scientific qualifications and thriving ecosystem.

Bahrain's advanced digital infrastructure, and the adoption of cloud computing, contributed to attracting global partnerships and leaders, and the Kingdom's commitment to innovation, digital economy, forward-thinking, and attractive regulations made the Kingdom an innovation hub.

"The relationship between Israel and Start-Up Nation Central and the Kingdom of Bahrain is true and honest, created by the desire to deepen the fruitful cooperation between both countries”.

“I am proud to say that approximately three years after signing of the Abraham Accords, the collaborations, in all fields, are expanding and we always strive to grow them even more”.

“I am confident that the technological tools and products developed by the Israeli startup companies will bring great benefit to the Bahraini economy and vice versa", said Khalid Yusuf Ahmed Al Jalahma, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to Israel.

For his part, Avi Hasson, CEO of Start-Up Nation Central said “As our region moves from being a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based one, Israel and Bahrain are prime to work together toward achieving this vision.

Together, we will blaze a new path forward and this conference is just the beginning as long-lasting relationships form solutions to common challenges are identified,” Hasson added, “We thank our colleagues in Bahrain for their partnership and pride ourselves to be part of Team Bahrain from now on”.

“Connect 2 Innovate” is the first conference of its kind, and it gathers government officials, large corporations, international organizations, business communities and technology innovators to focus on challenges in fintech, logistics, supply change, water, energy and climate.

The conference will include workshops on building the technological ecosystem and developing human capital, enabling the two countries to exchange knowledge and best practices, through the participation of a delegation of more than 50 government officials, businessmen and investors in Israel.

The 2nd and 3rd days of the conference will include professional workshops, lectures, panel discussions, presentation sessions and discussions on the future of banking and financial technology, water security and smart energy, startup ecosystem development, human capital challenges, and the establishment of a sustainable sea-air corridor.

Keynote speakers at the conference included Abdulla bin Adel Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce, EDB CEO Khalid Ibrahim Humaidan, the Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Kingdom of Bahrain Eitan Na'eh, and Start-Up Nation Central CEO Avi Hasson.

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