Investment 'to spur Arab-German ties'
Berlin, June 15, 2013
More investment and easier procedures are needed for stronger German-Arab economic relations, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.
He was speaking at the 16th Arab German Business Forum in Berlin. This year's forum focused on the economic environment and the investment opportunities in the kingdom, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Bahrain sponsored this year's forum, which was attended by a business delegation from the kingdom led by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Transportation Minister and EDB acting chief executive Kamal Ahmed received an honorary award for the role Bahrain played in organising the event which was attended by more than 500 Arab and German business people.
Westerwelle said that it is the time for Germany to look into its policies for issuing visas for Arab investors and impose a modern visa policy that is guided by the "spirit of openness".
"It is not only for your interest. It is also for our interest," he added.
He told the 500 delegates over a gala dinner that the previous years have seen important economic developments in the Arab world.
"In 2010, the gross domestic product was estimated at $2,365 billion. There are forward-looking policies being reviewed in the countries of the Middle East."
He urged German companies to benefit from the reforms in the Arab countries. "It is not the case after all where one side's gain must be other side's loss," he added.
Bahraini business people attending the forum expressed their satisfaction on the benefits brought to them from the business-to-business meetings with their German counterparts that were organised by the EDB, which totalled at more than 80 meetings.
German businessmen from logistics, recycling, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and government electronic services sectors participated in these meetings.
The discussions focused on investment opportunities in Bahrain and the means of benefitting from enhancing the economic relations between the two countries .
Methods to share experiences and explore ways to strengthen co-operation between members of the Bahraini business community and their peers in Germany were also studied.
"The importance of these events is that they bring together businesses from Germany along with the private sector of Bahrain and through networking we make the Germans aware of Bahrain as a business-driven diversified economy," BFG International group managing director Dr Samer Aljishi said.
"This supports attraction of foreign capital for the creation of jobs," he added.-TradeArabia News Service