March 23, 2016
Manama: The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corporation (MPRC) have today signed an MOU to promote cooperation and explore opportunities in the oil & gas sectors.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on the side lines of a business forum hosted by MPRC in conjunction with Offshore Technology Conference Asia 2016. Ms Dharmi Magdani, country head of the EDB’s India office which covers the Asia region, addressed the forum on the many business opportunities available to Malaysian companies in Bahrain, and on the importance of knowledge sharing and promoting cooperation between industry leaders.
Ms Magdani said: “The GCC region is renowned globally for its oil and gas industry. Bahrain was the first country in the Gulf to discover oil, as well as successfully drill and exploit this resource commercially and today we have a thriving downstream industry. This long experience in the sector means we have a deep pool of local expertise that can help businesses looking to access and service the energy industry in the global hub for oil and gas. As an important player in the international oil and gas industry, Malaysian firms can undoubtedly have a role to play in ongoing investment in the sector in the Gulf.
“This agreement will enable us to share our knowledge and experience with the MPRC and drive investment and development in this sector and afford us the chance to raise awareness of the many competitive advantages that Bahrain can offer Malaysian businesses looking to access the GCC region’s lucrative $1.6 trillion market. These benefits include 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. For over two decades, Bahrain has been recognised as the freest economy in the Middle East and North Africa by the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, and continues to remain in this position in 2016.”
Datuk Shahrol Halmi, President and CEO of the MPRC, also commented on the announcement: “Our mission is to facilitate market expansion, as well as increase competitiveness and innovation in Malaysia’s oil and gas services and equipment industry. We can best achieve this by strengthening ties with our international counterparts and entering into strategic partnerships with organisations like the Bahrain EDB.
“This arrangement with the EDB will enable us to cooperate and share high-impact information and announcements. Our organisations will also support each other in marketing, awareness programmes or investment promotion initiatives, with the aim of boosting trade between our two countries.”
Bahrain and Malaysia have a history of firm bilateral relations and engagement on a variety of economic and strategic fronts. In addition to manufacturing and oil and gas, both countries are leaders and innovators in Islamic finance and rapid growth has prompted closer ties in this sector. A number of Malaysian financial institutions such as CIMB and Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank) have offices in Bahrain, and in 2012, Bahrain’s investment arm, Mumtalakat Holding Company, raised around $1 billion in an Islamic bond issue on the Bursa Malaysia.
Malaysian construction companies are also performing well in Bahrain and have successfully delivered a number of large-scale and high profile projects including the Formula One circuit, the North Manama corridor project, the Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Highway, and the Bahrain City Centre.
Malakoff Corporation, Malaysia’s largest and one of Southeast Asia’s largest independent power producers has acquired a substantial stake in Bahrain’s Hidd Power Company as part of its global expansion and further highlighting the strength of the two nation’s investment relationship.
The Bahrain EDB has international offices based at the Bahrain Embassy in Delhi and Mumbai, which provide information and support to interested investors in the Asia region. Investors wanting more information about Bahrain can visit www.bahrain.com or contact Ms Dharmi Magdani, the EDB’s representative in South Asia, on firstname.lastname@example.org