Embassy plans German school in Bahrain
Manama, October 9, 2010
The German Embassy in Bahrain is exploring the possibility of setting up a German school in association with a committee of parents.
The group has spent the last year studying the feasibility of having a school in Bahrain and what age range it should cater to, said German Ambassador Dr Hubert Lang.
"We have this parents' committee and hopefully there will be a decision in the course of this year on where we go from here, but the plan is out there," he said.
"It's not a project yet, it's an idea, but the bigger the German community grows the better are the chances and hopefully we will have a German school one day."
Dr Lang was highlighting various initiatives and activities of the embassy and its community in Bahrain ahead of a celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the reunification of Germany.
The Day of German Unity falls on October 3, but will be celebrated by the embassy with a private reception at Dr Lang's residence in Saar on Sunday.
Baden-Wurttemberg Finance Minister Willi Stachele, who will head a German business delegation to Bahrain, will be among the guests.
The delegation from the Black Forest in the south of Germany represents small and medium-size companies, highly specialised in machinery for drilling, weight lifting and a variety of other areas.
They will arrive today and meet Economic Development Board (EDB) and government officials, and members of the private sector.
"This is still an essential part of our activities here to help German companies, in a not-easy market for small and medium companies that don't have the manpower or skills to go out to the world and discover," said Dr Lang.
"By coming here they will get a good idea of where their chances lie in Bahrain and the region."
Bahrain is also interested in boosting bilateral business relations and EDB chief executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa and businessmen will be in Stuttgart from October 25 to 28.
They will be promoting "Business Friendly Bahrain" to the private sector with the support of authorities from the Stuttgart government.
Dr Lang said following the financial crisis various German companies established in other Gulf countries had or were in the process of relocating their regional hubs to Bahrain.
"The real invitation to come to Bahrain lies with the fact that Bahrain is the gateway to the region, living conditions are much better here and living costs are reasonable.
"Logistics in Bahrain are excellent and Bahrain is well connected to the region and outside world in terms of airlines. Bahrain has an excellent investment climate, so there is more than one reason to establish here."
On trade, Dr Lang said there had been a slope in trade last year, but mid-term figures for this year indicate a positive outlook. Germany and Bahrain have engaged in high-level delegations, with His Majesty King Hamad visiting Berlin in late 2008 and German Chancellor Angela Merkel coming here earlier this year.
High-ranking officials from Germany will also take part in the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain in December.
Cultural relations have also become a focus in the last few years, said Dr Lang, and have included workshops for youngsters aimed at boosting cultural understanding.
The next event is a Women's Football Cup Arabia 2010 tournament for Bahrain and seven other Arab countries, taking place at the Bahrain National Stadium in Riffa from October 18 to October 28.
It is the first-of-its-kind co-operation between the German Federal Foreign Office and General Organisation for Youth and Sport (Goys).
Alongside the event are special cultural programmes, including a musical workshop, concert and media workshop.
Dr Lang said in the past the embassy had given a great deal of focus on economic relations between Bahrain and Germany, but now it is on solid footing and is able to give more attention to cultural activities. The embassy began German language courses two years ago and the demand is growing, he said.
Dr Lang said the embassy was also hoping to attract more students from Bahrain to study in Germany. Many German universities offer programmes in English and study is free.
Additional activities will be possible once the new embassy building in Adliya is finished and more staff can be added, said Dr Lang. The new state-of-the-art embassy building, designed by German architects, is expected to be completed by spring/summer next year. – TradeArabia News Service
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