Manama: Senior business leaders from Bahrain and China signed number of agreements on the side lines of the Bahrain-Shenzhen Business Forum held in Shenzhen. A high-level business delegation from Bahrain is visiting China and Hong Kong to further strengthen the economic and business ties between the two countries.
The business forum saw the signing of three MoUs between the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and Chinese businesses and trade organisations, helping to fortify economic and trade ties between the two nations. These agreements include Invest Shenzhen, a governmental body signed a deal with the EDB to work more closely on investment practices and policies to further strengthen trade between the Chinese and Bahrain markets; Shenzhen Capital Group Co. Ltd., a venture capital company in Shenzhen, signed a deal where the EDB will work to help provide more entrepreneurship opportunities for businesses in China and Bahrain; BYD Auto Industry Company Limited, a Chinese company which specialises in four industries (IT, automobile, new energy and rail transit) is looking to work with the EDB to establish a regional manufacturing hub in Bahrain and in addition to those, Chinamex Bahrain and China Handicraft Art Work Committee signed an agreement to hold a Chinese cultural products exhibition in Bahrain Dragon City in December 2017.
The delegation is led by H.E. Shaikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al-Khalifa, the Capital Governor and the Chief Executive of the Bahrain EDB, Mr. Khalid Al Rumaihi. Also in attendance are senior government representatives, along with leading Bahraini businessmen and women, and Bahraini start-ups. The delegation is in China to showcase the many opportunities for Chinese investors in the Kingdom and to establish firm ties between businesses.
The forum included a Shenzhen start-ups demo, where Bahraini industry leaders in the start-up space presented a session to provide information to attending Chinese companies on the opportunities for small businesses in Bahrain.
“Boosting trade and investment ties with China is extremely important to Bahrain’s economy. With an affluent and tech-savvy population, Bahrain is an attractive hub for start-ups and presents a strong opportunity for Chinese businesses looking to expand overseas,’’ Mr. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the EDB, said.
“China has developed some of the world’s leading innovative technology businesses and we believe that there is huge potential for these Chinese SMEs to access growth opportunities in the Gulf. We have put in place a number of funding and support networks to help businesses from China and elsewhere enter the Middle East region for the first time – this is just one of the ways Bahrain is supporting China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ policy.”
Several leading Chinese companies with offices or facilities already established in Bahrain include: Bank of China, China CommService, China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd, CPIC, ChinaMex, CIMC, Jinluo Water and East Star Group.
Bahrain also hosts the Middle Eastern headquarters of Huawei and is home to Dragon City, a Chinese-themed shopping mall that hosts more than 500 Chinese businesses. Leveraging Bahrain’s strategic location, the Dragon City seeks to raise the profile of Chinese products in the Gulf.