October 01, 2014
The Economic Development Board of Bahrain (EDB) signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan Information Technology Services Industry Association (JISA) at the EDB headquarters in Seef area. The MoU comes as a part of a visit of a business Japanese delegation to the Kingdom to attend business meetings and events from 1 to 3 September 2014.
The memorandum aims to strengthen cooperation between both sides to enhance bilateral relations and exchange of technical information in the ICT industry in the two countries. It will also provide the necessary framework for the development and follow-ups on projects and cooperative activities between both sides.
The signing of the memorandum comes after His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the EDB and the accompanying business delegation’s visit to Japan in March 2013. The visit resulted in signing a series of memorandum of understandings (MOU) that aimed to promote economic cooperation and encourage joint investments between the two countries. Many MOUs and agreements were signed between ministries, institutions and private sector companies during that visit, to enhance cooperation in the education and training, oil and gas, financial services, healthcare, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and others sectors.
H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB said:
“We are pleased to sign this agreement with JISA, who is an industry leader in the ICT sector. We consider this as another step towards enhancing the economic ties and bilateral relations between the two countries. Japan is one of our most important trading and investment partners globally, and we realise how important Bahrain is to Japanese businesses across various sectors, as it is the ideal destination located in the heart of the $1.6 trillion GCC market. The Kingdom is a gateway to doing business in the GCC for Japanese and international companies, and has one of the most efficient and skilled local workforce in the region that are able to speak both Arabic and English, in addition to the low cost of doing business it offers to all investors.”
Mr. Toshio Shimada, Vice Chairman of JISA and Vice Chairman of the CAC Corporation commented:
“This is an exciting opportunity, and we are looking forward to working closely with the Bahrain EDB on future collaborative projects, which will promote business between Japan and Bahrain. The ICT sector is one that is constantly growing globally, and the GCC market, which is expected to grow even further to reach $2tn by 2020, is an attractive area whereby investors can take advantage of the ICT sector, and the growing demands of the population. Bahrain in particular, offers interested investors many advantages, and with the support of the Bahrain EDB, companies will be able to set up in an open and competitive market. We look forward to further collaboration with the EDB.”
The Japanese delegation also organised a seminar on the ICT sector in Japan in the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) during their visit to the Kingdom. The seminar, which was attended by representatives from the Bahraini and Japanese business leaders, was held to give an overview on the ICT sector in Bahrain, as well as to encourage Japanese companies to invest in the Kingdom. It also gave an insight on the most prominent technological solutions, products and services for Japanese companies in this sector. The Japanese delegation also visited Batelco, the eGovernment Authority and Bahrain Development Bank, as part of their business tour in Bahrain.
The EDB also signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Center for Japan Cooperative for the Middle East last February, to promote bilateral trade and investment cooperation between the two countries, where the signing took place during meetings held in Tokyo within the framework of the ongoing work of the EDB with Japan, where it has its representative office since 2002.
Bahrain and Japan have a close diplomatic relationship and strong economic and trade connections, dating back to 1932. Japan is one of Bahrain’s major trading partners and Bahrain is also home to a number of major Japanese companies including Nomura Securities, Toyota, Yokogawa, and Daiwa Securities.