New Business in Formula One

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Strong Reception for the New Business in Formula One Initiative at the 2013 Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix

The Business in Formula 1™, which took place at the 2013 Formula OneTM Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix from April 19 to April 21, was well received with strong attendance across the three days of activities.
 
The event was a new initiative launched by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), and focused on engaging the business community in a series of vibrant business development and networking opportunities.
It was the first time that the Formula One Paddock Club™ has been formally used as a strategic platform for proactive business development and networking, in order to showcase the host nation and broaden the reach of the sport, and the event had the support and backing of Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Administration.
 
Each day of the Grand Prix race weekend saw a tailored business function take place in the Bahrain International Circuit’s Paddock Club™ Lounge, with keynote speeches from business leaders and Formula One specialists.
The first day saw a session involving three-time Formula One World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart OBE; Victoria Strand, President and Head of Ericsson GCC and Pakistan; Patrick Gallagher, CEO HSBC Bahrain; Humbert Buemi, Executive Director of UBS Wealth Management in Bahrain; and Luay Khalaifat, President of Bahrain’s Entrepreneurial Organisation.
 
Saturday’s event featured speeches from Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal of the Williams Formula One team, and former Formula One Driver David Coulthard who was joined on stage by Formula One specialist Mark Gallagher. This was followed by a panel session on “The impact of Formula One on the host nation”, which involved  HE Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB,  Mahmood Al Kooheji, CEO of Mumtalakat and Tamkeen,  and  Michael Yadgar, Legal Director and Head, DLA Piper Bahrain
 
On Sunday’s race day Sir Jackie Stewart again entertained the business guests with an address that focused on the importance of using Formula One in Bahrain as a showcase event for the Kingdom and a business networking tool. The lively panel discussion that followed featured Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Group CEO of Batelco, Marco Neelsen, CEO of APM Terminals, David Coulthard and Mark Gallagher. This was followed by an inspirational speech by Richard Noble, former World Land Speed Record holder and now principal of the new Bloodhound SSC team; a project that is aiming to break the 1000mph (1,600kph) barrier on land. The event was moderated throughout by former BBC presenter and GM of the Bahrain Capital Club Shahnaz Pakravan.
 
HE Kamal bin Ahmed said: “This event will extend the economic benefits from Formula OneTM far beyond the race weekend. It has provided a terrific platform to demonstrate Bahrain’s unique positioning as the natural gateway to the GCC market. I would like to thank everyone that was involved on the stage, behind the scenes and who attended the event and contributed to the discussions and debates, to help ensure it was such a success.”
 
Bahrain’s business fundamentals are strong and economic stability is secure - the long-term outlook has been unaffected, with growth of 3.4% in 2012 as a result of high growth in the non-oil sector, and is expected to reach over 5% in 2013. Moving forward, Bahrain is committed to sustaining and strengthening its core business fundamentals: a highly skilled workforce, stable and transparent regulation, an open business environment and sustainable growth, offering a vibrant market and attractive base for accessing the wider GCC market.
 
-ENDS-
 
About The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB)

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is a dynamic public agency with an overall responsibility for attracting inward investment into Bahrain, and is focusing on target economic sectors in which the Kingdom offers significant strengths.
 
Key areas of focus include manufacturing, ICT, and logistics and transport services as well as other sub-sectors. The Financial Services sector in Bahrain is particularly strong and the EDB supports in the continuing growth of the banking industry and key sub-sectors, including Islamic Finance, Asset Management, Insurance and Re-Insurance.
 
For more information on the Bahrain EDB visit www.bahrainedb.com