Bahrain to boost trade ties with Japan
Manama, April 14, 2012
Bahrain will further boost its strong trade and economic ties with Japan, said a senior government official, adding that the kingdom welcomes Japanese expertise in the development of housing needs, social welfare and vocational programmes.
Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro was speaking at the Bahrain-Japan Business Forum held in Tokyo. Bahrain Exhibition was also held at the Japanese capital.
'We are determined to enhance our trade and economic relationship with Japan, a relationship which goes back to 1934, with the discovery of oil and the first oil shipment that was sent to Japan, Dr Fakhro said.
'Today Japan is one of Bahrain's top trade partners, with a trade volume in excess of $1.2 billion.
'It is an honour, and great pleasure to be accompanying His Majesty King Hamad during this important visit to this great country of Japan, a visit which culminates various high-level exchanges that have taken place between the two countries, and is a reflection of the importance with which Bahrain views the development of its relationship with Japan,' he said.
'Japanese companies are active in the Bahrain economy in the financial, trade and manufacturing sectors, and have also been engaged in work in the petrochemicals field, gas, telecommunications and a number of large-scale industrial projects, the minister said.
'With us are many leading Bahrain businessmen with substantial trade relations with Japan, who are here to do even more business.
'Japan's assistance and involvement in developing industrial clusters downstream of our core primary producers, such as aluminium, steel, fibreglass and petrochemicals, would enable small and medium producers of secondary and finished products, and the Bahrain International Investment Park to expand and develop new products, and also would encourage more producers to establish new infrastructure facilities,' he added.
'Bahrain is also a major international and regional banking and financial services centre, and whilst Japanese financial institutions are present in the market, there is great opportunity for existing institutions to expand their presence, and for new banks to set up a base in Bahrain, to take advantage of mega projects that are either underway or planned for the future.
'The possible development of the King Hamad University for Science and Technology with an associated digital library would benefit enormously from Japanese experience,' he said.
'We could also benefit from the outstanding Japanese abilities in the field of an export development centre, as the Bahrain government, through the Industry and Commerce Ministry, is now in the process of considering the establishment of an export development centre,' he added.
The signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two sides will be a platform on which to undertake new joint initiatives, and for Bahrain to gain from Japanese experience, in particular in support of the development of small and medium-sized enterprises through various programmes, he said.
'The Industry and Commerce Ministry contributes to the strengthening of trade relations between the two nations, being focused on continuous improvement of the industrial, commercial, exhibitions and trade environment, making it easier for Japanese companies to gain access to the potential markets in the region,' he added.
Speaking at the opening of the Bahrain Exhibition, Dr Fakhro said that His Majesty's visit together with the Bahrain Japan Economic Forum and the exhibition as supporting events, mark the beginning of a focused effort to showcase what Bahrain has to offer Japanese businesses, and how Bahrain can help in the recovery process by providing a strategic base from which to expand Japanese exports, or to exhibit Japanese products and services into the region, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.
'Whilst there are a number of Japanese companies already active in the Bahrain economy in the financial, trade and manufacturing sectors, and some have also been engaged in work in the petrochemicals field, gas, telecommunications and a number of large-scale industrial projects; it is true to say that this is not truly reflective of the extent of our trade flow, and the depth of the Bahrain Japan relationship,' he added. – TradeArabia News Service