Manama, Economic Development Board, 23 October 2014: A Bahrain business delegation, on a 10 day visit to China, has signed four Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to promote stronger economic and trade ties. The MoUs were signed on the side lines of the China Overseas Investment Fair, organised by the China Overseas Development Association (CODA). The Bahrain delegation visit has been organised by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and is led by HE Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB.At the event the following MoUs were signed:
1- The China Overseas Development Association (CODA), the organisers of the China Overseas Investment Fair in Beijing, signed a MoU with the EDB to promote investment projects across a number of sectors in both markets. The MoU follows a recent visit by CODA to Bahrain, where the EDB introduced the delegation to Bahrain’s investment environment, business registration procedures and industrial policy
2- Chinamex, the Chinese government agency behind the ‘Dragon City Bahrain’ development, signed a MoU with the EDB to establish a regional trading centre in Bahrain. The agreement also includes provisions for Chinamex to support the EDB on business development trips to China and for the EDB to assist in the registrations of the Chinese companies to be housed at Dragon City
3- China National Building Material Company (CNBM) and Chinamex signed a MoU to offertrade and financing services for the Chinese tenants at Dragon City Bahrain
4- BCCI signed a MoU with China Association of International Trading to establish cooperation and ties aiming to promote mutually advantageous commercial and industrial interests and enhance the economic relations between Bahrain and China.HE Kamal bin Ahmed, said:
“By creating the most open economies in the Middle East region, and delivering a favourable business environment, Bahrain is able to fully support China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ policy and act as the ideal hub from which Chinese businesses can access the fast growing GCC market, currently worth US$1.6 trillion.
“These four agreements will work to strengthen China and Bahrain’s already strong economic and trade partnership and will deliver high value added jobs for Bahrainis and significant returns for Chinese investors.”
After Beijing the Bahrain delegation will visit Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. In each location the delegation will host an Invest in Bahrain Seminar to showcase to investors the Kingdom’s favourable business environment.
Bahrain’s favourable business conditions and strong economic fundamentals have been endorsed by the Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, which saw the Kingdom ranked 13th in the world and first in the Middle East and North Africa. A large number of Chinese businesses have already established operations in Bahrain as a means of accessing the wider Gulf market, which is now worth US$1.6 trillion and expected to reach US$2 trillion by 2020.In April 2014, Bahrain and China celebrated 25 years of bilateral relation. Leading Chinese companies with offices or facilities in Bahrain include: Huawei, Bank of China, China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd, and CPIC.
The Bahrain delegation includes: Bahrain 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; amongst others.