By Andy Sambidge
Gulf state's economic chief signs deals in Atlanta, Oklahoma City and Houston.
Bahrain said on Wednesday that it has signed deals in Atlanta, Oklahoma City and Houston that will boost commercial and economic ties between the kingdom and the United States.
A delegation led by Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), finalised several memorandums of understanding in a visit to the US, a statement said.
The agreements aim to maximise the opportunities presented by the trillion dollar Gulf and Bahrain-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
The deals have been inked between the EDB and the City of Atlanta , the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce (BUSACC) and the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP).
The deals will see cooperation in key sectors of common interest including education, healthcare, energy, life sciences, R&D, development through innovation, technology and industry cooperation, financial services, industrial and commercial services, telecoms, media and entertainment.
Shaikh Mohammed said: “These strategic agreements represent an opportunity to build on Bahrain’s longstanding and close diplomatic relationship with the US.
"We look forward to developing closer working relations with the Atlanta, Oklahoma City and Houston business communities to jointly promote our respective economic interests.”
The EDB is leading the process of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 under the guidance of Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain and chairman of the EDB.
In an interview from CNBC’s global headquarters in New York during the visit, Shaikh Mohammed spoke of Bahrain’s ambition to contribute to the growth of the Gulf as a whole.
“People talk about China and India. Our aspiration (in Bahrain) actually is that they talk of China, India and the GCC,” he said.
This is great news for both Bahrain and The City of Atlanta, as it marks the beginning of our friendly ties to the Middle East Gulf Coast Region and what better place to start than in Bahrain, soon to be considered to be the future Gateway City to the GCC. Congratulations to both cities and wishing many future years of prosperous working relations together.