January 18, 2015
Manama, Economic Development Board, 18th January 2015: The Economic Development Board (EDB) participated in a visit to the USA from 6th to 16th January 2015 and met business leaders from the advanced technology sector in Seattle, Silicon Valley, and the State of Texas to discuss business ties with the Kingdom of Bahrain.
HE Kamal bin Ahmed Mohamed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications and Acting Chief Executive of the Bahrain EDB, said: “This was a valuable opportunity for us to connect with the business leaders from the advanced technology sector in the USA as part of our continuous efforts to attract investors into the Kingdom through showcasing the Kingdom’s competitive advantages, including its open and diverse economy”.
EDB officials presented the opportunities the Kingdom offers for investors in the technology sector and the ability to access the neighbouring markets by utilising the Kingdom’s core benefits of an established ICT infrastructure, low operating costs and an experienced local workforce.
In addition, the delegation participated at the annual HighTech Roadshow in Texas, which was organized by the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, during which they joined a number of business forums and seminars about enhancing US-Arab trade, and met with business leaders in the cities of Austin, Houston, and Dallas, where they were able to shed light on the numerous cooperation opportunities between the US and the Arab region.
The National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, established 50 years ago, focuses on connecting American businesses with Arab economies through its offices in Washington DC, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City and Salt Lake City.
The Kingdom of Bahrain was the first country in the GCC to sign a Free Trade Agreement with the US in 2006, which has resulted in a 48% increase in commercial exchange between the two countries. In 2012, US exports to Bahrain reached around USD1.2 billion and Bahrain exports to US reached USD701 million. US imports in Bahrain includes machinery, aircrafts and vehicles whilst Bahrain exports to US include aluminium, clothing, and chemicals.
A number of US companies operate from Bahrain, including Olayan Kimberly-Clark, American Express, West Point Home, Ace American Insurance Company, Cisco, Mondelēz International and PineBridge Investments.
The EDB opened a representative office in the United States in 2013 dedicated to attracting foreign direct investment into Bahrain. The office arranges seminars and participates in conferences and networking sessions in order to develop relationships with various stakeholders, including business associations and chambers.