As part of its continued efforts to boost growth in Bahrain’s economy, the Economic Development Board (EDB) received a high level Russian Business delegation and briefed them on investment opportunities in Bahrain as well as ways of furthering trade between the two countries. The delegation, consisting of 25 Russian business representatives covering a number of sectors including sports, education, healthcare, tourism, culture, electricity and water, are in the Kingdom Bahrain as part of a visit organised by the Capital Governorate.
The EDB officials introduced the visiting delegation to the numerous investment opportunities Bahrain’s open business environment offers as well as some of the key advantages that investors experience, such as some of the lowest living and operating costs in the region, as well as a highly skilled local workforce. The meeting also showcased EDB’s efforts in attracting investments and businesses to establish their regional headquarters in Bahrain.
Mr. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the EDB commented:
“We are looking forward to strengthening our relationship with Russia, a leading economic territory. Visits like this will allow for further economic cooperation and will introduce Russian businesses to the opportunities available for investment in all key sectors in the Kingdom”.
There have been significant developments in Bahraini-Russian relations in recent years following the establishment of the Bahraini-Russian Joint Business Council in 2008 after the historic visit of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to Russia.
An important milestone between the two countries was reached following a high-level Bahraini business delegation’s visit to the Russian Federation in April 2014, which was part of an official visit headed by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and chairman of the EDB. The visit resulted in the signing of a number of agreements including an MoU signed between Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company and Russian Direct Investment Fund. Also announced was a revision to the visa policies for Russian citizens entering the Kingdom in order to encourage trade and tourism. In line with this, Gulf Air, the national carrier of Bahrain, also launched 4 direct flights weekly to Moscow.
Bahrain also hosted the first ever forum titled "Russia-GCC Trade and Industrial Dialogue" in Manama in December 2014. A number of key officials and representatives of the private sector from Russia and the GCC States participate in the forum, which was organised by the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade and supported by the EDB, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce. Discussions focused on the areas of cooperation and investment in infrastructure, development projects, manufacturing, agriculture, energy and Islamic finance.