GCC Nationals, expats actively launching new business in Bahrain.
MORE than 7,400 Commercial Registrations (CR) were issued in the first half of this year, it has emerged.
The new businesses were registered between January and last month, and included Bahraini and expat owners.
This was revealed yesterday by Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry commercial registration and companies assistant under-secretary Ali Maki, who said this was an indication of the growth of new business units in the country.
"A total of 7,410 new CRs were issued from January until June this year," said Mr Maki.
"The total accumulated CRs in our database until last month is 82,878 that includes 46,311 Bahrainis."
He was speaking to the GDN on the sidelines of an open meeting for traders organised by the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) at its Sanabis headquarters.
Mr Maki explained that Bahrainis, GCC nationals and expats were actively opening new businesses in the country.
"There is definitely growth in terms of new businesses opening up in the country, especially with some sectors now open for 100 per cent expat ownership," he added.
"For example, we now have a total of 114 CRs registered for food trucks."
During the meeting, traders raised the issue of lack of clarity on the revised CR fees structure implemented from last year, and called for better understanding on the matter.
Last year, CR fees for the private sector were revised after being postponed for almost two years under which businesses pay BD50 for a CR plus BD100 for up to three business activities, with each additional activity being charged a fee of BD100.
Previously CR owners were only paying an annual fee of BD50 to obtain and renew a licence.
"We introduced the fees after proper consultation and study with the BCCI that has helped streamline the operations, with many CR owners adjusting their activities or removing them in case it's not required," added Mr Maki.
He also warned CR owners against leasing their registration to others, which he said was a crime punishable by law.
"If we detect this problem then we will contact the Public Prosecution to take appropriate action," he stressed.
"There is a market, maybe, out there but we cannot go and catch someone until we have full evidence of CR renting."
Meanwhile, BCCI second vice-chairman Mohammed Al Kooheji, who co-chaired yesterday's meeting with other panellists, said the chamber wanted to promote such open meetings to allow traders to air their grievances.
"The event reflects a clear communication between BCCI and its members to address issues that need clarity," he said.
"Our members are clear on what they are doing and my advice to all of them is that we have to deal with issues on a macro level."
He added that a members' complaint unit has been set up with hotlines to report problems.
The unit can be contacted by BCCI members at 17380107 or email at email@example.com.
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