The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) announced they have set up a fast track process looking to attract global startup companies who want to take advantage of a country offering a friendly business and startup environment. The investment promotion agency for the kingdom of Bahrain will also enable startups to have greater access to the MENA region as a whole. The new fast-track process will be a free service offered through a dedicated concierge. Included as part of the service will be a quick entry process that will cover all residency costs, as well as visa requirements and business registration. It will also include access to grants and financial support and the government will provide guidance from their incubators and accelerators as well as allow for access to their networks and programs. In a statement, Pakiza Abdulrahman, manager of Business Development-Startups at Bahrain EDB, said, "International startups can benefit hugely from the entrepreneurial support structure in Bahrain—offering access to capital, talent and new markets. With a hassle-free approach to setting up businesses in Bahrain, there is no better base to scale across the growing $1.5 trillion Gulf market.” Bahrain is competing with several countries in the area to become the leader in fintech business and support. Other nations they are competing against include Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Abu Dhabi, among others. The country has already set up a massive fintech hub and has opened its regulatory sandbox. The manager added, "The Kingdom’s pioneering, agile and flexible regulatory framework allows it to regulate emerging technologies—such as open banking and cryptocurrencies—in a way other jurisdictions simply cannot.” The EDB will be offering this opportunity working in partnership with Web Summit. “The initiative will allow businesses and startups to benefit from the full ecosystem in Bahrain, which boasts operating costs up to 40% lower than its neighbours, one of the region’s most highly skilled local workforces and some of the most advanced soft infrastructure in MENA,” the EDB explain in their statement.