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Major Bahrain-UK trade deals on cards

Manama, January 19, 2014

By Avinash Saxena

Many business synergies between Bahrain and the UK have been identified and there could be a number of deals on the cards, the events organiser of the Great British Week has said.

Sportique88 managing director Martin Whitaker told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication, yesterday that the Advanced Engineering and Innovation Conference at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) was an unqualified success.

As many as 180 business delegates representing key sectors from both countries attended the high-powered conclave with addresses from His Majesty King Hamad's personal representative Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Transportation Minister and Economic Development Board (EDB) acting chief executive Kamal Ahmed, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and British Ambassador Iain Lindsay.

The event also featured an exhibition of British car and motorcycle manufacturers including McLaren, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Mini, Aston Martin, Land Rover, Jaguar, Triumph and JCB.

The conference saw companies across an array of sectors, including McLaren Applied Technologies, Silverstone UTC, URS, the Ordnance Survey/Survey and Land Registration Bureau and Blue Water Bio, participating as trade exhibitors.

McLaren's P1 programme director Paul Mackenzie, McLaren Applied Technologies market development lead Jim Newton, Rolls-Royce Aero customer marketing director Jason Sutcliff and Silverstone UTC principal Neil Patterson were the other speakers.

The Duke of York visited the stands of all the exhibitors and emphasised the UK's commitment to further enhancing ties with Bahrain in a number of areas.

Delegates travelled to the BIC on newly-designed London Routemaster buses that were brought to Bahrain especially for the event.

Alongside the business-focused activity, the Formula One pit garages at the BIC hosted an exclusive demonstration by McLaren Group of the new P1 plug-in hybrid supercar and 12C sports car.

A demonstration by pupils of St Christopher's School was also held to highlight the "F1 in schools" global educational initiative.

Many delegates called it an ideal platform to explore bilateral business to business relations.

They said contact had been made and networking done, which would pave the way for wider trade ties and partnerships.

British businesses were briefed on the economic and business environment in Bahrain, specifically the investment opportunities available to international companies within the country and the wider Gulf market.

Strong relations between the UK and Bahrain have translated into more than $400 million of bilateral trade in 2011 alone.

Bahrain is home to 25 British companies, including Ernst & Young, HSBC, McLaren Automotive, and Standard Chartered Bank, and there are 7,000 Britons currently working in the kingdom. The event was sponsored by the EDB and organised as part of the ongoing Great British Week.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | UK | Trade Deal |

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