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AmCham Bahrain hosts first FTA Committee meeting

The American Chamber of Commerce Bahrain (AmCham Bahrain) announced the hosting of its first Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Committee meeting, where members discussed ways to more fully utilize the agreement in order to increase bilateral trade and commerce.

This first gathering allowed for introductions and a general discussion of ideas for projects and initiatives that the Committee could undertake.

The meeting, which was held on Tuesday, 24 June 2014, was attended by business leaders representing a wide diversity of industry sectors, multinational companies as well as SMEs. Also, representatives from The Ministry of Information and Commerce (MOIC), Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI), Economic Development Board (EDB) attended the session. Discussions focused on organising FTA workshops and helping members overcome barriers impacting free trade and planning trade missions between the US and Bahrain.

Mr. Qays Hatim Zu’bi, President of AmCham Bahrain, said, “We are pleased to gather this diversity group together to discuss how best to leverage the US-Bahrain FTA. It is a goal that all members become well versed in the FTA and its potential benefits so they may become ambassadors for this important but underutilized agreement. We are confident this meeting was a strong first step in helping to dispel misconceptions and offering suggestions on how businesses can capitalize on the FTA to further their business development.”

The US-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement took effect on 1 August 2006. Bilateral trade between the US and Bahrain has increased each year since the signing of the FTA, exceeding $1.9bn in 2012. US exports to Bahrain include machinery, aircraft, vehicles, and agricultural products. US imports from Bahrain include fertilizers, aluminum, textiles, apparel, and organic chemicals. Bahraini companies sold $701m worth of goods to the US in 2012, primarily metals, chemicals, apparel and petroleum products.

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