Manama: The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) has today announced the establishment of a new office in the Republic of Turkey to strengthen economic ties and increase investment cooperation between the two nations. This step comes as a part of the EDB’s efforts to promote Bahrain’s business friendly environment internationally and attract investment.
The initiative follows a series of meetings with the Bahraini-Turkish Joint Commission in Ankara, which took place last year following His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s visit to Turkey in August. During His Majesty’s visit, he met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan where they stressed the importance of strengthening bilateral relations as well as economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. This was followed by a visit from President Erdoğan to the Kingdom in February of this year.
The new office in Turkey will work to develop connections with Turkish businesses and focus on investments in economic sectors where Bahrain has strong competitive advantages and are in line with the EDB’s economic strategy. The office will be responsible for informing Turkish investors on the competitive advantages of Bahrain’s economy, including being amongst the most open economies in the MENA region, and how that provides opportunities for investment with prospective companies and global investors.
Mr. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the EDB commented:
“The launch of an EDB office in Turkey is a direct result of the two countries’ agreement to enhance economic ties, which was made after the visit of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to Turkey and the recent visit of Turkish President Erdogan to Bahrain. It also follows the directives issued by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the EDB, in which he calls for the development of economic relations between the two nations to be expedited, and for ambitions of investment cooperation to be translated into reality.
“The new office aims to increase communication with Turkish investors and will play a vital role in strengthening partnerships between the Bahraini and Turkish business sectors, identifying where the opportunities lie, and evaluating how to leverage the Turkish economy’s strength and position as an economic power in the region and the world. We are pleased to have seen substantial interest in our meetings with Turkish officials and investors to increase investment cooperation as part of Bahrain and Turkey’s longstanding friendship. “
The EDB focuses on attracting investment to the Kingdom to support sustainable economic growth and high-quality job creation. The EDB works with the government and both current and prospective investors to ensure that Bahrain’s investment climate is attractive, to communicate its key strengths, and to identify where opportunities exist for further economic growth through investment.
The EDB focuses on several economic sectors that capitalise on Bahrain’s competitive advantages. These include financial services, manufacturing, ICT, tourism, logistics and transport.
Bahrain is home to 30 Turkish companies, including leading Turkish financial institutions such as Ziraat Bankası and Türkiye İş Bankası. The total trade between Bahrain and Turkey reached over $360 million in 2015, with traded products including textiles and textile products, chemicals, base metals, plastic and rubber products, leather products, and foodstuffs.
Agreements signed between Bahrain and Turkey include an agreement to avoid double taxation and a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement. The Turkish-Bahrain Business Council and the Bahrain -Turkey Joint Economic Committee also cooperate on the two nations’ mutual interests.