Bahrain delegation addresses business seminar in Tokyo
- Bahrain: Monday, October 15 - 2012 at 16:30
- PRESS RELEASE
A delegation led by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and Bahrain's Economic Development Board (EDB) has today addressed a number of senior Japanese business leaders at a high-level seminar in Japan.
Addressing the attendees in the keynote speech, H.E. Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor, Central Bank of Bahrain, said, "The global financial landscape is undergoing a significant amount of change", with many institutions seeing "a notable preference for conducting business based on the fundamentals of finance."
He also noted, "At a time when international financial firms are looking more toward traditional banking practises there is increasing demand for these services in the Gulf."
In his remarks, Sh. Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, Executive Director, Banking Operations, Central Bank of Bahrain, noted that the performance of Bahrain's financial sector had remained resilient, arguing that "maintaining the important economic fundamentals like low inflation, monetary and fiscal stability and a balanced, diversified economy has been a key part of our resilience".
Outlining the strengths of Bahrain's financial sector, Mr. Boyd Winton, Director of Financial Services, Bahrain Economic Development Board noted that Bahrain's main appeal to international investors was the access it provides to the fast growing Gulf market, "a market that is already worth approximately $1.4 trillion and which is expected to exceed $2 trillion by 2020". Mr Winton argues that this is enhanced by "the Kingdom's track record of macroeconomic stability... Bahrain's low cost, open business environment... its high quality of regulation... and finally, the Kingdom's educated and skilled local workforce."
The roadshow, which continues until Tuesday 16th October, follows the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group, attended by the delegation as well as high ranking Bahrain officials including H.E. Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance and Mr Yousif Humood, Assistant Under Secretary of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.
The business seminars also included a number of high level meetings with Japanese officials and financial leaders, as well as visits to leading businesses in Tokyo. The visit provides an opportunity to further strengthen economic and trade relations between Bahrain and Japan, who already share a number of commercial agreements and whose strong diplomatic relations are highlighted this year as Bahrain and Japan celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations.
Japan is currently Bahrain's fifth largest trading partner. Trade between Bahrain and Japan surged by almost 30% in 2010, and reach $1.25bn compared with $961.5m in 2009. Bahrain is home to a number of leading Japanese companies including Nomura Securities, Toyota Training Centre, Yokogawa and Daiwa Securities, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Yamato Kogyo.
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