Bahrain ideal 'gateway for US companies'
Manama, February 17, 2011
Bahrain can make an ideal hub for US firms looking for investment opportunities in the Gulf, said the chief executive of Bahrain’s Economic Development Board.
Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa was speaking at a gathering of economic and investment decision-makers during a visit to the city of Phoenix in the US.
Shaikh Mohammed is heading a Bahraini delegation to the US in a roadshow that started on Monday and includes talks with a number of US companies on joint economic and trade opportunities.
He said Bahrain is looking to build stronger economic relations with the US market which will bring more benefits to the Bahraini citizens.
In a presentation at the Walter Cronkite School, attended by members of Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Shaikh Mohammed said Bahrain is keen on improving investment in a number of economic sectors, outlining the recent steps taken by the kingdom to diversify its economy and create investment opportunities.
He said Bahrain's economic diversification and its proximity to the Middle East's largest markets make it an ideal gateway to a $1 trillion market.
Shaikh Mohammed also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with City of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.
The MoU provides a framework for joint action in which the two parties seek to establish a bilateral partnership and strengthen co-operation between Bahrain and Phoenix in the areas of development and follow-up business, joint projects and exchange of information and technology knowledge between them.
It will also include strengthening the support and co-operation among parties in the sectors of manufacturing, food processing, ICT, logistics, industrial services as well as heating and air-conditioning, in addition to focus on promoting exports.
The delegation includes representatives from Mumtalakat, Tamkeen, and a number of businessmen representing the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry like Khalid Al Zayani, Hamed Al Zahani, Khalid Al Ameen, Adel Al Safar, Sameer Nass, Moenis Al Mardi and Jehad Ameen.
The kingdom has close historical ties with the US in various fields and levels, especially bilateral trade and investment opportunities. Bahrain hosts 53 US companies, and 193 US-Bahraini partnerships.
Bahrain was among the first countries in the region to sign a free trade agreement with the US, which came into force in 2006, contributing to doubling the foreign direct investments in the kingdom from just about BD1.13 billion before signing the agreement to BD2.4 billion three years later. – TradeArabia News Service