MANAMA- The Bahrain-Russia Business Forum, attended by a high-level business delegation from Bahrain alongside close to 200 key Russian business leaders, concluded in Moscow today. The business delegation’s visit came as part of an official visit led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain, First Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the EDB.
The forum was organised by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), the Bahrain Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC), the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), the Russian Direct Investment Fund, the Russian-Arab Business Council, the Russian-Bahrain Business Council and the Vnesheconombank (VEB).
Attendees at the forum listened to speeches by high profile business leaders from both countries, including Mr. Dmitriev Vladimir Alexandrovich, Chairman of Vnesheconombank & Co-Chair of Russian-Bahrain Business Council, H.E. Khalid Al Moayed, Chairman of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry and H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB.
Commenting on the delegation’s visit, H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB, said: “We see a great opportunity for us to strengthen our economic and trade ties with Russia, and businesses in Bahrain have a lot to offer Russia in exchange. The economies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – a market which is now worth over $ 1.5 trillion dollars – are continuing to diversify, with Bahrain at the forefront, offering exciting new opportunities for foreign investors and new products for export to foreign markets. Today’s event demonstrates our commitment to building stronger ties with Russia and working together so that both our countries benefit from fast growth in Russia and the GCC.”
Speaking at the Bahrain-Russia Business Forum, H.E. Khalid Al Moayed, Chairman of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), said, “Since His Majesty the King’s landmark visit in 2008, we have seen a rise in trade between Russia and the Kingdom of Bahrain. In fact, between 2008 and 2011, non-oil goods exports from Bahrain to Russia grew tenfold. The opportunity for Russian investors in Bahrain is significant, as the Kingdom is well-placed for investors interested in the whole region due to its excellent connectivity to the GCC market.”
A panel discussion covering the business environment in Bahrain also took place at the forum, which was well attended by key Russian business leaders. Ms. Vivian Jamal, Executive Director of Business Development at the EDB moderated the panel and panellists included:Mr. Adel Al Moayed, Chairman, Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO),Mr. Abdulrahman M. Al Baker, Executive Director of Financial Institutions Supervision, the Central Bank of Bahrain,Ms. Afnan Al Zayani, Board Member, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI),Mr. Saqer Shaheen, Managing Director and CEO of Shaheen Group,Mr Salah Janahi, Director of Industrial Areas, Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC)
During the visit, Gulf Air, the national carrier of Bahrain, announced the launch of a new direct route from Moscow to the Kingdom.This announcement is in response to growing demand from businesses wishing to travel between Russia, Bahrain and the GCC. It was also announced that Russian citizens traveling to the Kingdom of Bahrain will be able to receive a visa on arrival, with the aim of encouraging business and trade between the two countries.
The Bahrain business delegation accompanying His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa has visited Russia to strengthen bilateral relationships between the business communities and to highlight investment opportunities in the Kingdom. Bahrain and Russia have a longstanding bilateral economic relationship strengthened by growing trade, which reached over $130 million in 2011. This was enhanced by the establishment of the Russia-Bahrain Business Council, during the historic visit by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to Russia in 2008.