By Staff writer
Government officials were also blamed for increased reliability on expat employees and illegal foreign workers
Bahraini private sector businessmen have accused government officials of ignoring small businesses and failing to create enough jobs for nationals and tackle issues such as illegal foreign workers.
The incident took place yesterday at a forum organised at the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss the labour market, reported Gulf Daily News.
Businessmen including Hisham Mattar, Nader Al Alawi, Riyadh Al Mahroos and Abdulkarim Al Fulaij claimed Industry, Commerce and Tourism minister Zayed Al Zayani issued rules without consulting the private sector.
Al Zayani denied the accusation and said the decision is made by the Cabinet, not a minister.
The businessmen also claimed Commercial Registrations (CRs) were given to foreign companies with no presence in Bahrain which allowed them to compete for projects with Bahraini contractors.
Al Zayani admitted violations had been found in 15 to 20 percent of CR activity, but said action was being taken to address the matter.
Furthermore, while the businessmen blamed authorities for “increasing reliance on expatriate workers,” Al Zayani said expat employees played an important role in Bahrain’s economy and said national businessmen were to blame for failing to take advantage of opportunities.