Bahrain-Saudi ferry plan to bolster trade
Manama, October 13, 2011
A new ferry sea link between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia was yesterday (October 12) supported by Bahraini delegates at a meeting of the Bahrain Saudi Business Council.
Saudi Arabia is committed to developing a new port at Al Khobar on its eastern province and the Bahraini chairman of the council, Farouk Almoayyed, yesterday said that his members would petition the relevant authorities to develop a port on Bahrain's western coast to create a link to this development.
He said a new port would take three to five years to complete and cost around BD30 million ($79.5 million) to BD40 million.
'This would undoubtedly increase traffic between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and it would take pressure off the number of vehicles on the roads,' he said.
But, ultimately what the Bahrain Saudi Business Council is looking at is encouraging ferry traffic across the region which would reduce the problems we have on road traffic across the region.
'We completely support our Saudi Arabian partners in this vision and it is something we will be promoting with the relevant authorities here.
'We believe there is a need for a new port on the west of the island that can help to boost regional trade and business.'
The meeting, at the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry headquarters at Beit Al Tijjar, also looked at making it easier for Bahraini companies to do business with Saudi Arabia.
'Foreign companies and individuals face regulatory and tax issues when they want to do business in Saudi Arabia,' he said.
'We have suggested to our Saudi representatives on the joint business council that these restrictions should be removed for Bahrainis as we are ultimately Saudi Arabia's little sister.
'This is something that has been taken on board by the Saudi members of the council and they have promised to raise it with the relevant authorities in their country.'
The Bahrain Saudi Business Council meets twice yearly in each country to discuss matters of mutual interest and this was the second meeting this year. – TradeArabia News Service