Bahrain 'ideal for joint projects with UK'
Manama, April 26, 2013
Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) chairman Dr Essam Fakhro called on British economic and trade organisations and investors to visit Bahrain in order to be updated on the reality of the situation in the kingdom.
He said such visits provide information to them on the positive work and investment environment in the kingdom, reveal the progress of the economic and urban development programmes implemented in Bahrain and prove biased media reports wrong, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Dr Fakhro said all the essential requirements for boosting Bahraini-UK relations are already in place, especially in the economic and commercial fields.
Britain has industrial and trade export potential, while Bahrain is located in the GCC region. This which will enable the two countries to set up major economic relations in the region, he said.
Bahrain has a distinguished position as a global banking and financial hub and will pave the way for both countries to launch joint projects.
He was speaking at the Bahrain-United Kingdom Business Forum in London: Historic Relations and Future Endeavours, organised by the Industry and Commerce Ministry, in collaboration with the Economic Development Board, Bahrain Embassy, the British Embassy in Bahrain and the UK Trade and Investment.
Bahrain's distinctive features pave the way for enhancing bilateral trade exchange, including a positive investment atmosphere, flexible and modern legislations and laws and diverse investment opportunities whose success is guaranteed, the BCCI chief said.
The kingdom boasts advanced financial, banking and insurance systems, which makes it a real international financial hub in the region, he said.
He added that the British expertise has made remarkable strides.
He urged the need to consolidate ties between the two countries, noting that Bahrain, with its position as financial centre, and Britain, with its expertise, can build a successful partnership in many sectors and launch joint projects across the region.
Dr Fakhro listed these sectors which include the industrial sector, exhibitions - through which the kingdom attracts mega world companies, medical and health services, higher education, training institutes, human resources development, the media, consulting services, financial services, transport, logistics, ICT, family tourism, car industry, aluminium, projects management, financial and management consultations and organisation of international exhibitions and conferences and tourism projects.
He also highlighted the economic environment, asserting that Bahrain has, for over a decade, achieved milestone reforms that paved the way for the creation of an environment to attract investment.
This was achieved thanks to the wise leadership of His Majesty King Hamad, His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier.
He underlined that the reform march, which has boosted trade, investment and the Bahraini economy, in general, has enhanced the freedom of expression, human rights and transparency, reinforced the state of law and institutions, restored parliamentary life and promoted the values of justice and equality in Bahraini society.
The BCCI chairman described Britain as key trade partner for Bahrain.
"Bilateral non-oil trade exchanges represented 2.1 per cent of Bahrain's overall trade exchanges with the world in 2011," he said.
Citing updated figures, he said that Bahrain's exports and re-exports to Britain topped $41.3 million in 2011.
British exports to Bahrain in the same period soared to $307m. Thus the balance of trade exchanges features a surplus of 11.9pc in favour of Britain.
The volume of Bahrain's exports to Britain grew by 51.8 per cent in the period between 2007 and 2011.
British exports to Bahrain dropped by 15.2 per cent in the same period.
The number of British economic, trade, industrial and service dealerships operating in Bahrain top 551.
Bahrain also plays host to over 95 branches of British companies, retail banks, shipping, insurance and re-insurance, investment and aviation firms," he added.-TradeArabia News Service