Manama: A high level Bahrain business delegation, organised by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), has signed six agreements during a ten day visit to China, bringing the total signed during the visit to 15 agreements. The agreements aim to encourage stronger ties between businesses based in Beijing and Bahrain.
The six MoUs were signed in Beijing. They were:
- Bahrain EDB and Baoshang Bank signed a MoU as the bank seeks to establish a regional headquarters in the Middle East with the EDB’s support. The Bank provides financial solutions in key sectors, is dedicated to SME financing and has an “A” level credit rating in China, with total assets of US$97 billion
- Bahrain EDB signed a MoU with the China Arab International Exchange Centre. The agreement looks to establish a general cooperation framework between the two parties, to promote stronger economic relations between the China and Bahrain
- Bahrain EDB and the China Arabia Economic Cultural Exchange Association (CAECEA) signed a MoU to promote investment opportunities in a number of sectors including infrastructure construction, financial services, manufacturing and energy, amongst others
- Projects Construction Company W.L.L signed a MoU with CMEC, to encourage exploration of development and construction opportunities in the Kingdom. CMEC is to provide project finance while Projects Construction Company will represent the joint venture locally and act as the main contractor for construction projects in Bahrain
- Chinamex signed two MoUs in Beijing. The first was with Henan Lotus Flower Company, one of the largest food ingredients manufacturers in China in preparation for the opening of the Bahrain Dragon City later this year
- The second agreement Chinamex signed was with xbniao.com to provide logistics services for Bahrain Dragon City
The agreements add to those signed in Xiamen when the Bahrain delegation attended the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) as the first guest country of honour from the Middle East. In total, 15 MoUs and letters of Intent (LOIs) have been signed in China by the Bahrain delegation. On the side lines of the Bahrain-China Business and Investment Forum in Xiamen two companies, Jinlou Water and Worldwide Logistics, announced their intention to establish operations in Bahrain. In Ningxia at the China Arab States Expo a MoU was signed by the Bahrain EDB and The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT- China) to strengthen trade ties between the two countries.
A Bahrain-China Business and Trade Forum was also held in Beijing, organised by the Bahrain EDB in cooperation with CCPIT, included speeches by Mr. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Bahrain EDB and HE Dr Anwar Al-Abdulla, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to China. The forum also featured a panel discussion on the Kingdom’s business environment, moderated by Ms. Vivian Jamal, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at the EDB. Panellists included: Mr. Hamid Al Zayani, Founder and Partner of Al Zayani Investments; Mr. Osama Al Khaja, Head of Project Development at Kuwait Finance House (Bahrain); Mr. Mohamed Al Kooheji, Director of AJM Kooheji; and Mr. Chai Xin , Public Relations Manager at Huawei Bahrain.
Mr. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Bahrain EDB said:
“Bahrain is the freest economy in the Middle East and by ensuring a favourable business environment, the Kingdom is able to fully support China realise its ‘One Belt, One Road’ vision by acting as the ideal hub from which Chinese businesses can access the fast growing GCC market.
“We are in Beijing to promote the significant opportunities that exist for Chinese businesses in Bahrain, strengthen trade ties with China further still, and create quality jobs for Bahrainis. In fact, non-oil trade between Bahrain and China has grown substantially in the last five years, from US$890 million in 2009 to US$1.98 billion in 2014. A large number of Chinese businesses, including Huawei, are also already using Bahrain as the hub for their regional operations.”
While in Beijing, the Bahrain delegation also met with China Investment Corporation, Air China, China National Building Material (CNBM), and China Equity amongst others.
The delegation also visited the city of Shenzhen, where members met with Chinese officials representing the Shenzhen government and senior leaders from Huawei and other major Chinese businesses. Business meetings were held throughout the visit between members of the Bahrain delegation and Chinese private sector entities to discuss potential investment opportunities in Bahrain.
As one of the most diversified economies in the GCC region, Bahrain has much to offer Chinese businesses, particularly in high growth sectors such as financial services, tourism and ICT. The Kingdom boasts four decades of experience in the financial services sector and is home to more than 400 financial institutions. In addition, Bahrain’s strategic geographical location and excellent transport infrastructure makes the island a logistics hub for manufacturing companies, allowing for the quick, easy and reliable transportation of goods.
Bahrain’s favourable business conditions and strong economic fundamentals were endorsed by the Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, which saw the Kingdom ranked 18th in the world and first in the Middle East and North Africa. In addition, Bahrain offers a tried and tested regulatory environment, minimal restrictions on foreign investment and ownership and one of the lowest operating costs and taxation systems in the region.
Bahrain has been a trading nation for thousands of years and played a key role in the development of the maritime trade routes that connected China to Europe along the old Silk Road. In fact, there is evidence of trade between Bahrain and China as early as the 8th century AD. Today, along the 21st century Silk Road envisioned under China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy, Bahrain is a hub for a number of Chinese business looking to access the fast growing Gulf and wider Middle East region.
The Bahrain EDB has an office based at the Bahrain Embassy in Beijing with representation in Hong Kong, and provides information and support to interested investors from China. Investors wanting more information about Bahrain can visit www.bahrain.com or contact Mr. Yun Jiang, the EDB’s representative in China, on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
May Taher, Bahrain Economic Development Board
Tel: +973 17 589 972
About The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB)
The Bahrain EDB is a dynamic public agency with an overall responsibility for attracting inward investment into Bahrain, and is focusing on target economic sectors in which the Kingdom offers significant strengths.
Key areas of focus include tourism, ICT, manufacturing and logistics and transport services as well as other sub-sectors. The Financial Services sector in Bahrain is particularly strong and the EDB supports in the continuing growth of the banking industry and key sub-sectors, including Islamic Finance, Asset Management, Insurance and Re-Insurance.
For more information on the Bahrain EDB visit www.bahrainedb.com; for information about Bahrain visit www.bahrain.com