October 26, 2014
Manama, Economic Development Board, 26th October 2014:A Bahrain business delegation on a 10 day visit to the People’s Republic of China continued its promotion of the Kingdom. The visit, organised by the Economic Development Board (EDB) in participation of the private sector, included high level meetings between businessmen as well as promotional activities aiming to attract Chinese investment to Bahrain.
As part of the efforts of the EDB to attract and develop direct foreign investment to the Kingdom, the Bahrain delegation held various joint meetings with private sector representatives and Chinese investors to showcase what Bahrain has to offer foreign institutions over the course of the delegation’s participation in the China Overseas Investment Fair. HE Kamal Ahmed, Minister for Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB, met with representatives from leading Chinese enterprises including China National Building Material Company and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China.
HE Kamal bin Ahmed also met with his Chinese counterpart HE Mr. Yang Chuantang at the Transportation Ministry headquarters in Beijng, where the ministers discussed means of cooperation and exchange of experience to the vital sector to countries’ infrastructure which supports the world’s economies.
Meanwhile, a Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) delegation led by First Vice Chairman Mr. Othman Alrayes held meetings with various parties including the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), a government trade body responsible for the promotion of beneficial trade and economic opportunities for China and established in 1952.
Meetings were also held between officials from the EDB and representatives of main financial companies in Beijing to promote the financial sector in the Kingdom, which is considered a regional financial centre and host to the highest number of financial institutions and banks in the region.
The Bahrain delegation, represented by businessmen and officials from the private sector, discussed trade and investment opportunities with various Chinese companies. The EDB organised B2B meetings between Bahraini companies and its Chinese counterparts to discuss potential partnerships and trade opportunities.
The EDB also organised the Bahrain Business Seminar, held at the China Overseas Investment Fair, which was attended by various representative of public and private entities in China.
The seminar opened with a speech from Mr. Zhang Guobao, President of CODA, in which he stressed the agency’s efforts in finding investment opportunities abroad and noted that Bahrain provides a suitable environment for international investors, in particular those from China, given its investment facilities.
His Excellency Dr Anwar Al Abdullah, Bahrain’s Ambassador to China, highlighted the strength of relations between China and Bahrain, which is based on a consensus between the two sides on a number of issues regarding international and regional matters and developing economic exchanges between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the People’s Republic of China.
Mr. Othman Alrayes, First Vice Chairman, of the BCCI gave a speech in which he focused on the importance of the private sector in Bahrain to the development of trade cooperation with their Chinese counterparts in order to promote Bahraini investments in China.
The keynote speech was given by HE Kamal Ahmed, Minister for Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB, in which he emphasised what the future will bring for Bahrain and China is based on a well-established, historical business relationship. He considered the “One Belt, One Road” policy that China pursues in its relations with its economic partners, Bahrain and the Gulf states amongst them, to reflect the important role played by mutual interests in directing business relations between Bahrain and China for hundreds of years, and which is being played out once more now. The new Silk Road between China and the Gulf follows in the footsteps of the old road itself.
The delegation met with the Chinese media in order to familiarise them with the Kingdom’s economic environment, the facilities on offer to Chinese investors and the investment opportunities, particularly in the field of infrastructure where there are a number of government projects aimed at developing and strengthening the Kingdom’s infrastructure. The Chinese media expressed their interest in the Kingdom, the bilateral relations linking Bahrain to China and mutual trade between the two countries. The meeting was attended by HE Kamal Ahmed, Minister for Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB; Mr. Khalid Al Zayani, Honorary Chairman, Al Zayani Investments; Mr. Samir Nass, Chairman of the Nass.
The economic delegation to China includes: 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.