As part of the visit, the delegation, headed by Mr. Wang Jiong, Vice Chairman and President of CITIC Group, met with Mr. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the EDB, and other EDB officials at the Bahrain Financial Harbor. The delegation also included senior officials who represent the group’s different business lines such as engineering contracting and infrastructure.
The meeting discussed further business cooperation with the Chinese group in various fields. The delegation were briefed about the Kingdom’s economic advantages and the benefits it offers for international investors in various sectors, which present an opportunity for growth and access to regional markets through operating in the Kingdom, along with the EDB’s efforts in attracting investments in key economic sectors.
CITIC Group is a Chinese state-owned conglomerate whose business lines include full-range financial services, real estate and infrastructure, engineering contracting, energy & resources, manufacturing and others. CITIC Limited is its major business platform which is listed in Hong Kong Stock Exchange. By the end of 2014, CITIC Limited has a total assets value of 5,948 billion HK dollars, with revenue totaling 402 billion HK dollars and net profit standing at 39.8 billion HK dollars. CITIC Group’s ranking has risen in the Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s largest corporations from 194 in 2012 to 160 in 2014.
Mr. Al Rumaihi in a comment on the visit said: “There is an increasing interest from Chinese investors in Bahrain. This is a result of the growing understanding of the benefits and potential growth opportunities the Kingdom offers for international investors. The CITIC group visit today reflects this interest and the strength of the historical bilateral relations between the Kingdom and China.”
“Such opportunities go in line with our aim to diversify Bahrain’s economy and ensure quality jobs for Bahrainis.”
Commenting on the visit, Mr. Wang Jiong said: “We look forward to meet with the private and public sector representatives during this visit to discuss the investment opportunities in the Kingdom, and benefit from the competitive advantages Bahrain offers for investors which is key for Chinese businesses.”
The visit includes meetings with officials from Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company and the Ministry of Housing, along with several private sector organisations. The visit follows a successful 10 day roadshow to China last year which was organized by the EDB.
The roadshow consisted of a high-level business delegation, which visited four major business hubs in China in October 2014: Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and resulted in signing of 13 Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) with various Chinese companies and trade entities. The roadshow aimed to strengthen the economic and trade bilateral relations between Bahrain and China, and comes after the official visit by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa to the People’s Republic of China in September 2013 at the invitation of the Chinese government.
In early April 2015, the EDB signed an MoU with the Ministry of Commerce of the Hunan Province in China during an official visit of a Chinese business delegation to Bahrain to enhance the bilateral economic and trade relations between the two countries.
The EDB established an office in China in 2013 to promote investment opportunities in the Kingdom as part of the EDB strategy in attracting foreign direct investments into Bahrain.