Bahrain Delegation Takes Part in the First Italian-Arab Business Forum in Milan

High-level delegation to promote business opportunities for Italian businesses

Manama – 12 October 2017: A high-level Bahraini business delegation today took part in the First Italian-Arab Business Forum in Milan as part of a roadshow in Italy, which runs from 11th – 13th October 2017. The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is organising the visit as part of its wider strategy to attract investment into Bahrain; thus acting as a catalyst for economic growth and creating jobs in the local market, in line with Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030.

The delegation is led by H.E. Zayed R. Alzayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism; H.E. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the EDB; H.E. Dr. Mohammed Abdulghafar, Bahrain’s Ambassador to France and Italy, as well as senior representatives from the private and public sector, who held bilateral meetings with Italian government officials, businesses and investors at the forum.

As part of Bahrain’s participation at the forum, H.E. Zayed R. Alzayani delivered a speech praising the strong bilateral and commercial relations between the two countries; a relationship that extends back to the last century. H.E. Khalid Al Rumaihi, also promoted the two countries’ robust relationship in a panel discussion titled: “Industrialisation, regional strategies and visions”. His Excellency used this opportunity to demonstrate the Kingdom’s favourable business environment, competitive advantages, investment opportunities and its strategic location as a gateway to GCC markets valued at US$1.5 trillion.

Mr. Al Rumaihi said: “Economic forums such as the First Italian-Arab Business Forum are great platforms to promote Bahrain’s proposition internationally and invite the international community to invest in Bahrain, while also discussing further policies Bahrain can take in order to boost foreign investments.

“Bahrain was a pioneer in recognising the importance of economic diversification in the region. The oil sector now comprises less than 20% of total GDP, evidence that Bahrain today enjoys a business-friendly environment to investors across a multitude of economic sectors.”

Bahrain and Italy have enjoyed close trading relations since 1973, with agreements between the two countries dating back to 2000 and the signing of the “Mutual Exemption of Taxes on Air Transport Enterprises and Sea” agreement. The two countries have also signed two other economic agreements; the first relating to the “Protection of Investments” in 2006 and the second “Equal Treatment of Anchorage and Port Taxes” in 2009. Since the turn of the century, the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also signed an MOU with the Union of Italian Chambers in 2006.

This close trading relationship is further evidenced by the fact that Bahrain is home to more than 182 Italian commercial enterprises across various sectors; the most prominent of these being in pharmaceuticals and fashion. Between 2015 and 2016 the two countries increased their non-oil trade by US$ 7 million, reaching a total of US$ 367 million.


Notes to editors:

Further information:
Bahrain Economic Development Board
Tel: + 973 1758 9966

About The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB)
The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is an investment promotion agency with overall responsibility for attracting investment into the Kingdom and supporting initiatives that enhance the investment climate.

The EDB works with the government and both current and prospective investors to ensure that Bahrain’s investment climate is attractive, to communicate the 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 sectors include financial services, manufacturing, ICT, tourism, logistics and transport.

For more information on the Bahrain EDB visit; for information about Bahrain visit

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