30/03/2016 08:27 AST

A blueprint for environmentally-friendly investments was the focus of a forum held yesterday.Green technologies, including waste disposal and renewable energy, were at the forefront of the discussion.

It was organised by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) and American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain (AmCham Bahrain), under the patronage of the Supreme Council for Environment as part of the Bahrain Environment Month.

“The importance of the forum today is what role the private sector and financial institutions can play,” Unido head Dr Hashim Hussein told the GDN on the sidelines of the event, held at the InterContinental Regency Bahrain.

“We want to look at whether they can get good opportunities to finance green technologies in the region and how can we interact more and stimulate the private sector to invest in green technology.

“That’s why we have (strategic adviser to R20 Regions of Climate Action founding chairman and renowned expert) Terry Tamminen, who is an international figure on green technology and renewable energy.

“He’s been giving a broad spectrum of what’s happening worldwide – what the different initiatives and agreements that are being developed, as well as investment opportunities, for large, medium and small enterprises – even for entrepreneurs.

“We want to develop public-private partnerships, as it’s been proven that investing in green technology is an investment.

“The problem of the private sector is that someone has to tell them what the good initiatives and investment opportunities are.

“We’re hitting two birds with one stone, first protecting environment and bringing good investment projects in.”

AmCham Bahrain president Qays Zu’bi said the private sector needed to take a vital role and turn Bahrain into a leader in green technology. “AmCham recognises the need and opportunities for the private sector to take a leading role in capitalising on the advantages of a green economy,” he said.

“It not only includes new job opportunities, new growth opportunities and enhanced competitiveness for the business community, for example, but also climate change is kept at bay, renewable energy is increased and less energy is used – creating a better cleaner greener future for our children and Bahrain.

“We look forward to learning how Bahrain can become a leader in building a green economy. “Leveraging global and local partnerships and resources the private sector can help lead the way.

“Companies in Bahrain are already developing and utilising tools, technologies, products, and services to create new markets and solve environmental problems. Green policies will encourage green projects that will attract green investment.

“Let Bahrain become the country of choice for investors seeking green opportunities.” Mr Tamminen told the GDN that he found many “willing partners” in Bahrain.

“I wanted to exchange ideas and experiences about expanding the green economy,” he said. “It is clear from the AmCham event that Bahrain is one of the best places in the world to find willing, innovative partners.

“While I’m here, I hope to continue discussions on ways that R20 can support Bahrain’s goals for sustainability and to share those examples with our network throughout the world.”


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