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Business News – adapt to survive Given that most businesses in


GBCC area don’t export you might think that doesn’t matter. But no matter how far you think a business is from the export supply chain, you can bet that within a few degrees of freedom you’ll be impacted. A down-turn in China might just impact on retailing in Moseley or Sutton in ways we could not have imagined a couple of decades ago. Such is our interconnectivity that


no matter to which trading bloc we are connected, the global shocks can hurt us all. Take, for example, where I am now. Just less than 50 years ago, the former Trucial and Gulf states began to set up as countries independent from the protection of the UK. In all cases, with the exception of


Yemen, they have succeeded economically in terms of delivering for the majority of their populations. It could be said that oil played a large part in that development but the peoples of the Arabian Gulf have always been traders and entrepreneurs for the best part of 5000 years. Doing business is an Arabic


tradition. I have found the people I now work for and with are keen to


make things happen, reducing their reliance on fossil fuels and investing for the future. Business and commerce are seen


a force for good. Make a deal and make it work is the mantra here and despite the odd bureaucratic hurdle, is refreshing and exciting. Bahrain is in a post-oil-economic


climate; in comparative terms it is double the size of the Isle of Wight, at 300 sq. miles a tad larger than Singapore with only 25 per cent of that far eastern island state’s six million population. Just the same, it sees itself as a


place for business. Like everywhere else, there are challenges here too; coping with changing weather extremes and the like as well as coping with instability around the region can create a heady working environment. But at least these are known unknowns unlike, say, the current Franco-Italian spat which was an unknown unknown. The point is that people here prepare for the shocks and try to anticipate problems and come up with solutions. If places like Bahrain and Singapore can make their way in the world despite the problems they face with scale and scope,


On the beach: Wish you were here


then a country with the vast human resources, creativity and cultural mix of the UK should do well. I tweeted a few weeks back that


the one thing that I took with me from Brum was its resilience and its ability to reinvent itself despite all the issues it has had. Now it stands on the verge of another golden period based on the diversification that took place over the past 10 years.


It is a great UK success story and


I believe that the city region can now stand the test of the storms it might face. If the whole of the UK could just see what Brum has done, it would not matter what the news was or who was delivering it. It is a good news story, at least that’s what my eyes see through my ‘rose-tinted 3,000 miles away’ sun glasses.


March 2019 CHAMBERLINK 25


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