Bahrain Partners with China’s Hebei Region to Establish Business Ties

Wednesday 21 November 2018

A senior delegation Bahrain led by the Capital Governor His Excellency Sheikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, under the aegis of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) today met with Xu Qin, Governor of Hebei and a number of local government officials and business leaders in Shijiazhuang.

The parties also attended the Bahrain – Hebei Business Forum to discuss opportunities and strengthen cooperation. These come as part of the delegation’s nine-day visit to China’s principal commercial centres as Bahrain continues to develop business relationships across China.

Next year marks 30 years since China and Bahrain established diplomatic relations. Ahead of the pearl anniversary, Bahrain is setting out to partner with Hebei – an essential region of China’s economy – to explore opportunities to drive growth together. The Bahrain – Hebei Business Forum witnessed the signing of several memoranda of understanding (MoU) to include:

An MoU between EDB and Hebei Provincial Department of Commerce to strengthen information exchange, establish a regular investment information exchange and strengthen cooperation in economic and trade activities.

An MoU between EDB and CNBM International Corporation to explore opportunities for CNBM International to expand presence in Bahrain, mobilise Chinese building material manufactories, and promote high-level visits between the two parties.

An MoU between EDB and Baoding Hanyang Technology to explore the possibility of establishing a Middle East Management office in Bahrain, assess Bahrain’s demand for 3D printing and the possibility of Hanyang partnering with local companies to develop the MENA market, and explore opportunities to construct a platform that can facilitate exchanges in 3D printing

These agreements represent an important step towards establishing stronger economic ties between China and Bahrain. His Excellency Sheikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa said: “Bahrain and Hebei share many things in common. As part of the Jing-Jin-Ji Economic Zone and the Bohai Bay Economic Region, Hebei plays a critical role in China’s economic growth and development. Bahrain, for its part, is the fastest growing economy in the Gulf region, and is driving growth and innovation across the Middle East.”

Liu Xiaojun, Director General of Foreign Affairs Office of Hebei Province, said: “The forum helps both Bahrain the Province of Hebei to better understand the business and regulatory environment, allowing for even further cooperation. We would like to take this opportunity to enhance our partnership with Bahrain and look to build a new chapter to encourage mutual growth.”

Bahrain already has a history of partnership with China’s leading firms to grow and evolve their businesses. In 2009, Huawei moved its headquarters to Bahrain - it is now creating and accelerating Bahrain’s 5G mobile networks ecosystem, one of the most advanced in the world. In 2018, the Bahrain EDB opened its third representative office in China, aiming to facilitate more investment by Chinese companies in Bahrain.

For his part, His Excellency Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of EDB Bahrain, said: “Our nine-day visit to China has been very successful, as demonstrated by the 15 agreements signed between Bahraini entities and their Chinese counterparts. We look forward to working with the Hebei government to create a supportive environment that can facilitate and promote business partnerships between Bahrain and Hebei. Together, we believe we can ensure continued prosperity across two of the world’s most economically vibrant regions.”

Bahrain is a country undergoing an ambitious digital transformation, with a dynamic, entrepreneurial culture. As one of the most open and liberal countries in the Gulf region, Bahrain is known for its unrivaled market access, world-class regulatory environment, highly competitive taxation system, the lowest operating costs in the region, high quality of life, and a skilled bilingual workforce. As China sets out to support its companies in their “going-out” efforts, Bahrain – the Gateway to the Gulf –  is perfectly positioned to be a partner of China, connecting Chinese companies to this high-spending region.

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