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Bahrain will Debut at this CIFTIS to Make it a New Node along the Belt and Road

Sponsored by the Economic Development Board of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Promotional Conference for the Business Environment of the Kingdom of Bahrain will be held at the 5th CIFTIS on May 28.  In an interview yesterday, Jiang Yun, the State Representative of the Economic Development Board of the Kingdom of Bahrain, expressed that the Kingdom of Bahrain has a great advantage in the aspects such as land rent, tax and finance. It also has a broad market in the Internet and welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest in Bahrain.

The Kingdom of Bahrain is the only island country in the Middle East and North Africa. It is made up of 33 small islands and is an important commercial port. Jiang Yun, the State Representative of the Economic Development Board of the Kingdom of Bahrain, introduced that at the time of the ancient Silk Road, the Kingdom of Bahrain had already kept an important association with China and it unearthed the coins of the Ming Dynasty and the tri-coloured glazed pottery of the Tang Dynasty, etc. When China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, Bahrain responded highly and hoped to be able to play the role of gateway and finance platform and make it a node country of the Belt and Road through friendly trade relations with China and the Arab countries.

Jiang Yun introduced that in terms of investment, Bahrain has obvious advantages. First, Bahrain's economy has made a transition earlier. Today, the service industry, manufacturing industry and tourism, etc. all account for a relatively high proportion. The world's largest oil field was discovered along the western coast of Bahrain on April 1, providing opportunities for future infrastructure investment. "For high value-added manufacturing industry and logistics industry, the prices of land rent, electricity, oil and gas in Bahrain are very low and energy intensive enterprises can find some good opportunities in Bahrain."

Second, in the past 40 years, Bahrain has been a financial center in the Middle East. There are altogether 407 banks and 3,000 funds in the country and many companies such as the Standard Chartered Bank, DLH and the BNP PARIBAS have set up their regional headquarters in Bahrain. Bahrain is also the most intensive place in Islamic finance globally and it is the core area of the Islamic finance in the Middle East.
Third, the Kingdom of Bahrain is the first country in the Middle East to put forward the idea of innovation and venture capital, including the traditional IT, mobile Internet, e-commerce, cloud service and electronic games, games and so on. Bahrain wants to build an e-commerce center, game center and Internet center. "Because the development of e-commerce in the whole Middle East is still ten to eight years behind China, new enterprises have been entering. China's e-commerce and games, etc. are at the forefront of the world. If we use this advantage to develop locally, we will have great potential for development.

Fourth, Bahrain's tourism industry is developing rapidly. It is a gathering area for Arab families for weekend holidays. It receives about 14 million tourists every year. "Bahrain provides visa upon arrival for China. We want to build overall infrastructure, aviation, hotels and infrastructure aimed at group tourism in Bahrain so as to promote the tourism projects for the Chinese tour groups to Bahrain.

In addition, Bahrain's preferential tax, zero income tax, freedom of trade, lower operating costs compared with that of the surrounding countries and the open up policy are all favorable competitive advantages. "Bahrain itself has a relatively small market, but the Internet can break through the boundaries of many countries and for the 42 million GCC (Arab Gulf Cooperation Council) market and the market with 440 million Arabs, Bahrain is a good choice." Jiang Yun said.