Ibrahim Sharif: Isn't Supporting "Awal Gulf" More Important Than "McLaren"?

Ibrahim Sharif
Ibrahim Sharif

2024-02-02 - 12:24 م

Bahrain Mirror: Ibrahim Sharif, the former Secretary-General of the Waad Society, expressed that the reason for the bankruptcy of "Awal Gulf Manufacturing" and the unemployment of 220 Bahraini employees working there is a "government approach that favors the stranger over the local."

Sharif said in a post on the "X" platform on Thursday, February 1st, 2024, that Awal Gulf Manufacturing, which produces the famous Pearl air conditioners, has become bankrupt after financial difficulties, adding that it does not receive government support despite employing 220 Bahrainis and purchasing some components of its air conditioners from other Bahraini industrial companies and suppliers.

Sharif compared the company to another, McLaren Automotive, a British car manufacturer that "drains the sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain (Mumtalakat), which injected $450 million last year (2023) to save it," noting that McLaren does not employ a single Bahraini, does not operate a single Bahraini factory, and does not even make single dinar purchases from any Bahraini merchant.

He warned that "the issue is bigger than an industrial company that owned a successful brand and was left to go bankrupt and liquidate; the issue relates to a government approach that favors the stranger over the local, pays to the foreigner and neglects the Bahraini, seeks failed investments abroad instead of establishing local industries, as well as refinancing and restructuring other struggling industries."

"If the money drained from the public budget to fund sports not played by citizens and not favored by anyone except the elite who decide on our behalf, were directed to support the national industry and create a national industrial cadre that prioritizes Bahrainis, we would be much better off," he further stressed.

Arabic Version