Bahrain, China to sign landmark agreements
Manama, September 14, 2013
Bahrain and China will sign key agreements in education, health, culture and investment during His Majesty King Hamad's historic visit which begins today.
The three-day visit will bring the two countries together, said Chinese Ambassador Li Chen.
"I am fully confident that the first ever trip by His Majesty King Hamad will strengthen ties between both sides and open new channels of co-operation at several levels," he said.
"The visit comes in response to the invitation by Chinese President Xi Jinping."
During the three-day visit, His Majesty will meet top leaders in Shanghai.
"Besides the official meetings with top leaders from both sides in Shanghai, His Majesty will also visit Ningxia where the first China-Arab State Expo that aims to boost trade between China and Arab countries including the GCC will be held."
On the economic front, Chen said the trade volume between Bahrain and China reached more than $1.55 billion with increasing areas of growth.
"The Bahrain-China bilateral trade is growing at a rapid pace with big scope of investment for both sides. Currently, the trade volume has witnessed growth of 28 per cent and it is still increasing."
He said China exported scores of products ranging from electronics, textiles, automobiles, furniture and other items while it imported petrochemical and aluminium products from Bahrain.
"This visit will help promote bilateral ties and usher in new growth for both sides. I feel that through this state visit, several Chinese companies will be able to establish a foothold in the region," he said.
"Bahrain and China have always enjoyed a smooth cordial relation without any problem, and this visit will seal our friendship for years to come."
According to latest figures, trade between China and Arab countries increased 14 per cent year on year to a record high of $222.4 billion last year.
China's exports to Arab countries totalled $91.3 billion, while imports amounted to $131.1 billion.
Meanwhile, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Dr Essam Fakhro said the King's visit will greatly contribute to fostering bilateral economic relations between both countries.-Reuters