A high level Bahrain business delegation has concluded a successful 10 day visit to China and Hong Kong during which 13 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were signed with Chinese businesses and trade organisations to strengthen economic and trade ties.
The delegation was organised by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and led by HE Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB. The visit aimed to further enhance bilateral trade relations with China, valued at around US$1.7 billion (excluding crude oil). The visit comes following His Majesty the King’s historic visit to China in 2013, and both nations celebrating 25 years of bilateral relations.
The Bahraini delegation visited Hong Kong as the final destination of an extensive roadshow and met with the Federation of Industry and Commerce (GFIC) to establish cooperation and friendship ties and promote mutually advantageous interests.
HE Kamal bin Ahmed, Minster of Transportation and Acing Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board met with several Hong Kong based organizations during the visit to Hong Kong, including the New World Services Group, Chueng Kong Infrastructure, and attended the Annual General Meeting of Hong Kong Bahrain Business Association (HKBBA).
The EDB also hosted a networking reception following the Bahrain – Hong Kong Business Seminar during which the Bahraini delegates met with their counterparts in Hong Kong.
During the roadshow the delegation hosted a series of seminars introducing potential Chinese investors to the economic and investment climate in Bahrain, and held talks with Chinese officials, business leaders and businesses looking to access the Gulf market, in four of China’s main commercial centres; Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. The delegation also visited the 6th China Overseas Investment Fair in Beijing.
Throughout the visit to China, a number of meetings were also organised with various companies in China and Hong Kong, including meetings with: Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Beijing Capital Group, Asahi Tec, the Guangdong Commerce Bureau, the China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), GFIC, Jinglong Decoration, and Huawei Technologies.
HE Kamal bin Ahmed said:
"Like China, the six economies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are one of the world’s great growth centres. This market has growing demands for new products and services. Mainland China, with fast-emerging consumer products manufacturers, and Hong Kong, with its strength in financial services, are ideally placed to take advantage of the opportunities presented in the region."
Bahrain and China have a strong trade relationship that dates back two thousand years to the first Silk Road. The Kingdom is host to a number of leading Chinese companies, which have established offices or facilities in Bahrain to access the wider Gulf market, these include: Huawei, Bank of China, China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd, and CPIC.
Bahrain’s favourable business environment and strong economic fundamentals have been endorsed by the Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, which saw the Kingdom ranked 13th in the world and first in the Middle East and North Africa.