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Sponsored by: King Solomon International Business School

View from 3,234 miles away Postcard from Bahrain March, 2019

Seminar offers advice for next generation of entrepreneurs

King Solomon International Business School held its first monthly economic seminar in partnership with the Midlands Economic Forum (MEF) on 31 January 2019. The school, situated in Aston, provides its students with a broad and balanced curriculum and specializes in International Business. Paul Forrest, Chief

Economist of MEF outlined changes in the Midlands, UK and International economies and highlighted the disparity between the national economy – 20% manufacturing, and the regional economy – 40% manufacturing and associated services. Following the event,

Stephen Brooks, Business and External Relations Manager at King Solomon International Business School said, “It is important for teachers, parents, students and local businesses to understand changes in local and international economies. It is even more important that we, as a school, are preparing our students for the jobs of the future and the provision of digital and other services to the manufacturing sector will remain important as they migrate to Industry 4.0 revolution. “We are looking to create

the next generation of entrepreneurs, equipped and ready for a globalised economy and these seminars will ensure that the resources and strategies we use are up to date and relevant.” The next Economic Seminar

will be held on 28 February at King Solomon Centre of Excellence 4-pm, Adam St entrance, Aston Waterlinks, B7 4AA and will cover Future Jobs and Trading with the Commonwealth.

To know more or register your interest please contact us on Visit:

24 CHAMBERLINK March 2019

Dear GBCC, The weather is fine, wish you were here!

That’s the postcard bit out of the way. Now onto my reflections of what’s going on here and there. Let’s start with the UK; being

3,234miles from Brum, my news takes on a different perspective. The distance and the fact that UK news competes with other world news means that stories that are important in the UK are less so here. Even though I get my BBC news

and daily paper news feed from UK, my perspective has become more objective - you may disagree. On a workday, which for me

starts on a Sunday, I am up early having breakfast and getting my TV news-fill usually from France TV5 Monde. Strangely, in this part of the world, although the language is Arabic, most people converse in English and you’d think that given the British connections with this region, the BBC would offer a wider amount of news feed. All I seem to get on BBC World

is a bunch of obscure politicians from around the world talking boringly about something not of interest to anyone, whereas most other news agencies provide a mix of domestic an international output. I am sure the Beeb could save a

few bob by just outputting their excellent BBC news channel rather than the current twaddle I get on their Nile satellite feed; the French give me excellent news coverage albeit with a different perspective “sur la vie”. On the BBC website and in the

UK newspapers, there is a constant feed of Brexit ‘disaster’ related

Smart exit: Paul Kehoe in Bahrain

Paul Kehoe, immediate past president of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, is now chief executive of Gulf Air Group, based in Bahrain. In his Postcard from Bahrain, the former chief executive of Birmingham Airport reflects on what’s going on 3,234 miles away as well as back here in the UK.

news but I have discovered that there is more to news than that. Of course, Brexit is important, and one can only be staggered by the level of intemperance and vilification now being shown by both sides. For goodness sake, both sides

are willing to talk to terrorists and other unpalatable regimes but it seems that they now can’t bear to be in the same room. Or is it all a game? Our leaders and politicians are playing a high-stakes dangerous game with the lives of some 512 million people to consider. We have known for years that

there can be no winners in Mutually Assured Destruction and I’m not talking war - just economics (or perhaps they are the same). However, the current Brexit

economic language is bellicose but actually not as bad as that between Italy and France over the border crisis there. For an organisation set up to

promote trade, peace and unity, there doesn’t appear to be too much of that at present. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in democracy - from the Greek ‘demos’ – people and ‘kratos’ – government/power or rule. Organisations are created, grow

and then die usually because they lost touch with the people that they served (think “let them eat cake”). In business we call it marketing; understanding what your consumers want, understanding how your products fit the wants or moods of the people. It is the same for political

organisations as for companies and I believe we are seeing a world-wide crisis of empathy – if people truly did see things from another perspective, they just might understand how to change for the better. The other factor at play here is

to blame some external factor for the failure to adapt to changing market conditions. I remember when failures were blamed on this excuse rather than confronting the real issue such as a specific market failure. Failure to anticipate market changes has destroyed companies in the past. Remaining competitive, producing products that the market wants has been the key to delivering success. Whether it is politics or

economics, understanding the changing environment is paramount. We need to understand a form of econo- political Darwinism; it’s not always the strongest that survive but those who can adapt to change.

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