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Manama declaration

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First International Entrepreneurs Investment Forum

Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

19 – 20 January 2015

The Manama Declaration 2015 on “Entrepreneurship & Development” is a set of recommendations derived from the two day deliberations and discussions held among the 85 experts and 650 entrepreneurs from 80 countries participating in the First International Entrepreneurs Investment Forum on “Entrepreneurship & Investment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development” held under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain on January 19 to 21, 2015 and attended by the Director General of UNIDO HE Mr. Li Yong.

The participants in the First International Entrepreneurs Investment Forum on Entrepreneurship and Investment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, state:

  • Having debated all aspects of entrepreneurship and investment, and recalling United Nations General Assembly resolutions 67/202 of 21 December and 69/210 of 19 December, 2014, entitled “Entrepreneurship for Development”;

  • Noting that realising these and other benefits depends, first and foremost, on fostering a dynamic private sector, and recognising in particular the need to promote competitive small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the main source of economic activities and the largest employer in many developing countries – and the main engines of empowerment for women and young people;

  • Desirous of further promoting entrepreneurship and expanding access to financial and support services, which are the among the central challenges developing countries face in growing a vibrant sector;

Declare the following:

  1. We greatly appreciate the hospitality and warm welcome accorded to the participants by the Government and the people of the Kingdom of Bahrain;

  1. We welcome the United Nations Secretary-General’s message to the First International Entrepreneurs Investment Forum;

  1. We commend UNIDO’s leadership for their support to entrepreneurs, and count on it to remain a close partner to entrepreneurs;

  1. We greatly commend and appreciate the support of the UNIDO Arab International Center for Entrepreneurship and Investment; the Islamic Development Bank Group, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries, the Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Development, the International Network for SMEs, the Eu-Africa Chamber, the MENA OECD Center, The International Business and Professional Women Association and others..

  1. We call upon governments, the private sector, academia, civil society and international organisations to cooperate in undertaking the following steps to facilitate the development of entrepreneurs and small and medium size enterprises around the world:

    • To take a coordinated and inclusive approach to promoting entrepreneurship involving all stakeholders, while noting initiatives of civil society, academia and the private sector as important entrepreneurship drivers;

    • To consider partnership with the private sector in promoting entrepreneurship, generating employment and investment, increasing revenue potential, developing new technologies and innovative business models, and enabling high, sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth while safeguarding workers’ rights;

    • To strengthen the capacity of national financial institutions to reach out to those who have no access to banking, insurance and other financial services, and encourage them to adopt regulatory and supervisory frameworks to facilitate the safe and sound provision of services to such populations, increase access to information and promote financial literacy, particularly for women;

    • To expand alternative sources of financing and diversify retail financial systems to include microcredit and microfinance;

    • To cooperate in support of technology exchange and transfer, innovation and capacity-building programmes for promoting entrepreneurship;

  1. We recommend establishing a special secretariat within the Arab International Center for Entrepreneurship & Investment (AICEI) in Bahrain for the Forum and propose convening the International Entrepreneurs Investment Forum every two years in Bahrain and any country which requests to host it in order to review and follow up progress and to identify additional areas of cooperation and action to promote investment in entrepreneurship.

  1. We urge the international community, United Nations Organization, UNIDO, and other relevant international and regional organizations and institutions, civil societies and various stakeholders to take the aforementioned recommendations into account in shaping their policies and supporting the entrepreneurship for sustainable development;

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