Manama : The society needs to change its mindset on government subsidies, said Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) governor Rasheed Mohamed Al Maraj yesterday.
“People should worry less about removal of government subsidies and think more about participating in the global technological revolution,” he added.
The CBB governor was speaking at ‘Policy Hack’, an event organized by C5 Accelerate in partnership with Tamkeen. Hadyah Fathalla, Executive Director of C5 Accelerate was the host of the event.
“The society is stressing the wrong problems,” said Al Maraj, as he urged technoprenuers, finance professionals and the business community to make their voices heard.
He said that the society as a whole have been lost in discussions about government welfare programmes such as the government housing, removal of subsidies while discussions about Fintech, Artificial Intelligence and the like are not in the limelight.
“Right now our discussions as a society have been dominated by the day to day issues such as housing, electricity subsidy and such things. The main challenge to face the Arab world will be Artificial Intelligence. Are we prepared for this? “ the CBB Governer asked.
“When there are advancements in AI and robotics and biotechnology and so forth how are we going to cope with this. These are the things that I wish to talk about. But instead we have had to prioritize on issues that has a much smaller impact,” he said.
He also encouraged banks to listen more to the customers and adapt to new technologies.
“Bahrain can adapt to changes very quickly, we are at heart liberal. We are an open society that has ability to mix with different groups of people and be dynamic. The banking system should reflect this. Currently the bank dictates the products, and the customer needs to pick whatever is available. This mindset is a roadblock, instead banks need to listen to the customers more and have solutions according to their needs,” he said.