Manama, A high-level Bahrain business delegation will land in China this week on a visit organised by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) aiming to strengthen economic and trade ties between the two countries.
Bilateral relations have gathered momentum since His Majesty King Hamad's visit to China in 2013 and Bahrain is perfectly positioned to play a central role in China's One Belt, One Road initiative.
Led by Shaikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, Governor of Capital Governorate, the Bahraini delegation is comprised of Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of EDB, Dr. Anwar Alabdulla, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Bahrain to China, Sameer Abdulla Nass, Chairman of BCCI, and representatives from the private and public sectors.
Shenzhen will be the first stop of a 9-day tour of China's principal commercial centres. The delegation will successively visit Hangzhou, Shijiazhuang, and Beijing, as it continues to explore deeper economic ties with China.
Over the length of this official visit, the delegation will meet with Chinese government officials, with Chen Rugui, Mayor of the Shenzhen, with the Governor of Zhejiang and Hebei Provinces, and with several Chinese business leaders.
In addition to attending the Bahrain-Shenzhen Economic Forum and the China High-Tech Fair, the most prominent high-end technology event in China and Huawei R and D Centre. The delegation is also expected to sign landmark agreements and sign a number of MoUs with its Chinese counterparts. The Fair, which is organised annually by several Chinese ministries and government agencies, highlights the latest trends in China's technology sector and plays an important role in the implementation of the national development strategies for China.
Such high-level visits across China emphasise the continuous interest of the Kingdom of Bahrain for deeper economic ties with China and the spirit of collaboration that is growing between our two nations over the years. These visits highlight our mutual desire to expand cooperation at all levels, from financial services to ICT, tourism, manufacturing, transportation and logistics services, Shaikh Hisham commented.
Our long-established bilateral relations, dating back 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, are based on solid foundations and with these visits, we intend to share more experiences, establish more partnerships and take the relationship between Bahrain and China to new heights.
Visits like these support the EDB's mandate to attract inward investment, grow the local economy and create quality jobs. We are particularly excited to be taking part in the China High Tech Fair for the third year and showcase areas in which Chinese businesses, particularly in the ICT sector, can tap into Bahrain and the wider region, Al Rumaihi said.
This is the fifth consecutive year that a Bahrain delegation has visited China. In 2017, the delegation conducted a visit to China and Hong Kong during which significant MoUs were signed with Chinese businesses and trade organisations. These include MOUs on Shenzhen-Bahrain Cross-Border E-commerce Cooperation, Shenzhen-Bahrain Innovation and Entrepreneurship Express and Huawei-Bahrain Telecom Talents Training Agreement.
Manama and Shenzhen became sister cities in 2016 and Bahrain EDB inaugurated in June 2018 its representative office for Southern China in the city, to facilitate more investments by Chinese companies in Bahrain.
Foreign investments in Bahrain have increased from $142 million in 2015 to $810 million in the first three quarters of 2018. Bahrain has already attracted some big Chinese names to invest in the country, including the ICT giant company Huawei and China International Marine Containers Company (CIMC). The total goods traded between Bahrain and China excluding oil, increased from $872 million in 2009 to over $1.7 billion in 2017.
Source: Bahrain News Agency