1st Russian-Bahrain commission session held
(Manama) – The session of the Russian-Bahrain intergovernmental commission in trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation held its first meeting on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, in presence of Russian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain Mr. VagifGaraev and Russian economic delegation and a number of officials of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.
H.E. Zayed R. Azayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of the Kingdom of Bahrain headed the Bahraini delegation, and H.E. Denis V. MANTUROV, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation headed the Russian delegation in the Meeting.
The minister expressed leadership and government interest of this meeting, which will contribute to enhance bilateral relation between the two countries, stressing his honor to host this inaugural meeting of the Russian–Bahraini Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation in Bahrain, since the announcement of H.M. King Hamad bin Isa Alkhalifa and President Vladimir Putin of the committee’s formation, late last year in Moscow.
He added that this Commission will hopefully play an important role in enhancing and developing ties between our countries, and will contribute to deeper and continuous cooperation in all fields. The minister stressed the importance of the private sector’s role in this Commission, praising the outcomes of both Russian-Bahraini and Bahraini-Russian Business Councils meeting headed yesterday by Mr. Vladimir Dmitriev and Mr. Khalid Almoayed.
During the last two years, we have revised our laws, procedures and policies and reengineered them to streamline business setup in Bahrain together with the automation of our company registration process using our online system of “SIJILAT” and we are proud to say that we have a record of producing a company registration in only 93 seconds. Today, Bahrain is a leader in the GCC in liberalization with only 2% of business activities restricted to 100% Bahraini ownership. The reaming 98% business activities are allowed for foreign ownership with almost 60% of them allowed as 100% foreign ownership. Furthermore, this is available throughout Bahrain and is not restricted to certain economic or free zones.
As for tourism, we launched our new tourism identity “Bahrain ours. Yours” in the earlier part of 2016 as well as a new tourism strategy for 2016-2018, built on 4 A’s. Awareness, Attractions, Access and Accommodation. Tourists’ number increased by 6% from 11.6 million in 2015 to 12.3 million in 2016. Moreover, we look at further growth in our tourism sector as we plan for it to double to 7% of our GDP by end of 2018. In an attempt to expand our footprint and tourism reach, we have also appointed seven representative offices in targeted market within the tourism plan; Russia is one very important one of our seven locations.
With our reform process well on track, our unique advantages of geography and demography, our competitive cost structure (34% less than Dubai or Doha), our educated and dedicated local workforce we invite you to consider Bahrain as a regional hub for your GCC operations.