The Arab British Chamber of Commerce organised a webinar on 7 September to bring to the attention of UK investors and exporters the opportunities in the Kingdom of Bahrain across the various sectors.
ABCC chairman, the Rt Hon Baroness Symons, hosted a wide ranging discussion with the participation of the ambassadors of both countries, H E Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the UK, HMA Roderick Drummond, British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, alongside Mr Khalid Humaidan, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, and Mr Bandar Reda, Secretary General & CEO of the ABCC.
In her opening remarks, Baroness Symons noted the recent difficult trading conditions posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the forthcoming challenge for the UK of Brexit once the transition period comes to an end on 31st December this year.
HMA Roderick Drummond remarked on Bahrain’s favourable environment for doing business and stated that bilateral trade was evenly balanced between imports and exports.
The ambassador said that the Department for International trade was looking closely at the emerging opportunities in Bahrain in the expectation of greater collaboration as the global economy resumes activities following the lockdown. He saw no impediments arising from the Brexit process.
Finally, he listed the priority sectors in Bahrain such as development of smart cities, logistics, tourism and e-commerce.
Mr Khalid Humaidan, Chief Executive of the Bahrain EDB, highlighted some successful examples of UK-Bahrain business partnership as Standard Chartered Bank’s role in the kingdom’s banking sector over many decades and the activities of British luxury carmaker McLaren in Bahrain.
Mr Humaidan outlined the mission of the EDB to attract new investors to come to Bahrain and its work in the provision of support for companies by helping them assess the potential and navigate the registration procedures.
The EDB was keen to assist startup companies looking to the kingdom as a base for working in the Gulf.
Mr Bandar Reda spoke of his personal experience of the immense hospitality of the Bahrain people and remarked on Bahrain’s future vision driven by a younger generation becoming more active in the economy.
H E Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, the Bahrain Ambassador, warmly thanked the ABCC for providing a platform to discuss the opportunities for closer UK-Bahrain collaboration.