Why Did Samir Nass Wash Hands of this Study?

2020-06-25 - 7:02 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Anyone reading the statement of BCCI president Samis Nass published in Akhbar Al-Khaleej newspaper will ask about the study he is talking about and why is he washing his hands of it?

"The study published on Saturday, June 20, 2020 edition, in a local newspaper, on the ‘positive and negative effects of the work of foreign companies' was conducted by the Chamber about a year ago, and it basically reflects the view of the traders participating in the survey, pointing out that the study was presented during the meeting of the joint committee between the Chamber and the House of Representatives held recently," he stated. "The Chamber did not publish this study in any media outlet."

Nass distanced himself and the chamber from the study, which he said represented the opinions of the traders involved in it. He also confirmed that the chamber did not leak the study, which was discussed with MPs, to any media outlet.

The study included figures confirming that foreign investment increased in Bahrain, but in return the remittances transferred abroad increased. It also noted that 95% of the jobs created during the study period were acquired by foreign workers.

The study does not carry many new facts about the labor market in Bahrain, nor about the nature of foreign investment, but its publication in the media was something that had to be "disowned" by Nass!

It is not the first time he clarifies the chamber's pro-government position after statements criticizing its economic performance, as there are restrictions on freedom of complaining in the chamber.

The chamber is not allowed to discuss the policies of the current government team in the area of market freedom or the freedom of foreigners to own and invest, which allowed freedom to invest in the country's main oil sector.

After he noted that 2020 "is expected to be a difficult year in light of domestic data and external expectations," he returned to say after indirect official communications that he was optimistic that the year would carry a stimulus and recovery for the national economy.

Regardless of how the study was leaked to the Bahraini press, the chamber fully supports the messages it contained, except for the part on Bahrainization. Although it is in the chamber's interest to strike the "market economy" or what the government calls an open policy, the chamber cannot speak out.

To confirm this, Samir Nass concludes in the last line of his statement by saying that "the Chamber supports openness with appropriate controls (...) taking into account the continued support of Bahraini industries and traders and protecting their interests."

However, the response of the decision makers to such calls has already been given by Minister of Industry and Trade Zayed Al-Zayani to the Chamber: "Our policy of openness is successful and irreversible, and the growth figures are a witness. It is not possible for the government to provide protection to a Bahraini merchant simply because he is a citizen who wants to sit in his shop in the Manama market."

Arabic Version