October 24, 2014
Manama, Economic Development Board, 24 October 2014: HE Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board (EDB) met with Mr. Fang Aiqing, Vice Minister of Commerce as part of the Bahrain delegation’s visit to China.
In a meeting attended by representatives of the Bahrain Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCCI) including Mr.Othman Alrayes, First Vice Chairman, of the BCCI,and a number of businessmen, the two parties discussed bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the People’s Republic of China as well as the importance of the Bahrain delegation’s visit, which aims to strengthen commercial relations between the two countries. The meeting also included discussions about the role of the EDB in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Chinese investment in particular.
HE Kamal bin Ahmed focused on how the organisation of a number of forums and continuous meetings has created investment partnerships between various business sectors in Bahrain and China.
HE Kamal bin Ahmed also held a meeting with officials from Beijing Capital Group to discuss mutual cooperation and opportunities, which was attended by Bahraini officials as well as businessmen and women from the Bahrain delegation.
Meetings were also held between Bahraini businessmen and private sector representatives with various Chinese companies to discuss means of mutual cooperation in trade and investment. The EDB organised B2B meetings between Bahraini companies and its Chinese counterparts to discuss potential partnerships and trade opportunities.
Marking Bahrain’s visit, the EDB was awarded Best Organiser of the China Overseas Investment Fair by the China Overseas Development Association (CODA) during a ceremony held in the Chinese capital Beijing. The ceremony hosted various officials representing the private and public sector in China and the Kingdom and comes as part of the 10-day visit by a high level Bahraini business delegation to the People’s Republic of China, which aims to strengthen economic and trade relations between the Kingdom and China.
Meanwhile, Ms. Vivian Jamal, Executive Director of Business Development at the EDB, took part in the Silk Route Panel, in which she gave a speech on the bilateral relations with China, stating that the future relationship between the two countries will be based on their historical commercial relationship.
She praised China’s “One Belt, One Road” trade policy to maintain close business ties with Bahrain, which has resulted in the strong economic relationship that China currently enjoys with the rest of the GCC states. Ms. Jamal went on to explain that there are a number of Chinese firms operating from Bahrain as a result of this firm relationship, such as Huawei, Bank of China, China Harbour Engineering Company and Chinamex, the official agent to operate and manage Dragon City retail project. These firms are expanding their business operations into the rest of the GCC markets from their headquarters in Bahrain.
She added that as the Chinese market continues to grow, more Chinese companies are looking to introduce their products and experience to new markets. The Kingdom of Bahrain is targeting such investments. Ms. Jamal also indicated the country’s efforts to invest in major infrastructure projects in order to diversify the economy and highlighted the opportunities that are present to international investors, as well as how Chinese companies have used these opportunities previously.
Ms. Jamal also emphasised that the relationship with China must be based on market openness and partnership.
This visit follows His Majesty the Kings’ visit to China last year and the economic delegation to China includes: Bahrain EDB; Central Bank of Bahrain; Bahrain Airport Company; Mumtalakat, the Bahrain sovereign wealth fund; Tamkeen, the Bahrain labour fund; Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Citi Bank; Al Amal Group; AJM Kooheji Group.
The EDB established an office in China in 2013 as part of its strategy to attract FDI into the Kingdom. The office is based at the Bahrain Embassy in Beijing, although it also operates in Hong Kong, and is headed by Mr. Yun Jiang.