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Bahrain GCCs leading Financial Hub

Bahrain, with a visionary approach and the best regulatory regime for the banking and finance sector, has emerged as the leading financial centre in the Middle East. Which is getting a competition from Dubai, U.A.E.

The completion of an iconic $1.4b Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) and other multi-billion dollar infrastructure development projects have raised the Kingdom's status as one of the most vibrant and growing economies in the region, a senior Japanese government official yesterday said.

Kazunori Tanaka Senior vice Minister of Finance Japan, who is in Bahrain told a Press conference that Bahrain's expertise in banking and finance has attracted as an investment destination and would help to attract the Japanese companies.

The visiting minister, who was joined by the newly-appointed Japan's ambassador to Bahrain Takeshi Kondo, said: "Bahrain can be used by Japanese companies and investors as a gateway to the region due to the Kingdom's strategic location and close proximity to the region's largest economies like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE."

Talking about the existing potential between Bahrain and Japan, the minister said: "We see the infrastructure developments in Bahrain as a commitment from the government to maintain Bahrain's status as financial centre. These developments will be proved as a catalyst to attract more foreign investments including Japan.

Japan and Bahrain enjoy cordial ties and ties which go back over the decades and with Japan's keenness to cement the exiting ties with Bahrain the coming days will see many developments."
The minister said that Bahrain's expertise in Islamic banking and finance would help the Japanese institutions how to develop the shari'ah-compliant products and services for the client base.

"The economic and financial reforms initiated by the leadership in Bahrain have helped to make this country as a model democracy and one of the most leading economies. Japanese major banks and financial institutions as well as private sector players have chosen Bahrain as destination of choice. There are many joint ventures and in the most of the cases successful partnership between Japanese-Bahraini investors have paved the way to consolidate the existing two-way business.

Referring to the upcoming Bahrain-Qatar causeway, the minister said that Japan's booming construction and infrastructure development expertise can be of great help for carrying out major projects in Bahrain. "We have huge industrial base and we will continue to explore opportunities in Bahrain in trade, commerce, investment and other vital sectors."

In the backdrop of $110 billion bilateral trade between GCC and Japan in 2006, the minister said that the conclusion of the Japan-GCC free trade agreement would be a crucial for Japan and GCC as a bloc.

The minister, who held talks with Bahrain's Minister of Finance Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa and discussed the developments on the Japan-GCC FTA and bilateral trade issues, said that it would be in the interest of both sides to conclude the agreement without wasting much of time.

He said that in the wake of successful talks on the FTA in Tokyo and Riyadh both sides should negotiate all relevant clauses and seal the agreement.
According to official estimates, the trade between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Japan increased 33 per cent year-on-year basis rising to staggering $110.45b last year.

Japan's imports from GCC increased at an average rate of 21 per cent per year from 2002 to 2006 and the average growth rate for exports to GCC stood at 13 per cent, which resulted in Japan's widening trade deficit. The rapid increase was primarily owed to Japan's soaring imports from GCC, which hit a record high of 11.1 trillion yen. Japan registered a deficit of nearly 9.3 trillion yen in its trade with GCC in 2006, with its exports to GCC remaining relatively stable.

The minister said that Japan's nuclear power technology could be one of the key areas of co-operation for GCC what we call the new era of green technology. "We have world's top quality expertise and technology in nuclear power generation. The US is one of the main recipients of Japanese expertise in nuclear power generation.

He said: "Japan has huge industrial base and an agreement between the GCC and Japan would help to trigger the activities in trade, investment and commercial sectors."



Anonymous BusinessT said...

it will be really interesting to see if only the right laws and regulations can make these markets sustainable or its going to take more, plus not to forget the local competition from Dubai and Abu Dhbai

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Altima said...

Another debate is of transferring nuclear energy, it is not clear whether Japan will assist GCC for transferring of Nuclear energy for desalination plans or America, what would be the motives behind this------- ?

4:13 PM  

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