22/11/2018 07:29 AST

Bahrain has signed three strategic business partnerships with Hebei – an essential region of China’s economy – to explore opportunities to drive growth together.

A senior delegation from Bahrain led by the Capital Governor Sheikh Hisham Bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa and organised by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) 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.

The Bahrain – Hebei Business Forum witnessed the signing of several memoranda of understanding (MOUs) to include:

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

These agreements represent an important step towards stronger economic ties between China and Bahrain. Sheikh Hisham 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. As for Bahrain, we are the fastest growing economy in the Gulf region, and are driving growth and innovation across the Middle East.”

“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,” said Liu Xiaojun, director-general of Foreign Affairs Office of Hebei Province.

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.

“Our nine-day visit to China has been very successful, which has been demonstrated by fifteen 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,” said Khalid Al Rumaihi, chief executive of Bahrain EDB.

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