Investments between Bahrain and Egypt are set to double from $3.3 billion to $6.6 billion thanks to a range of new deals and partnerships … with more set to be on the way.
Bahrain’s Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa revealed that a Higher Joint Bahraini-Egyptian Co-operation Committee has been formed to explore all potential sectors including advanced sciences, technology and innovation.
A mutual investment opportunities’ platform has also been introduced between Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, and The Sovereign Fund of Egypt.
He added, during a Press conference yesterday, that 10 new mutual agreements focusing on investment opportunities, trade and commerce, judicial development, agriculture and food security had been signed between Bahraini and Egyptian officials.
The agreements followed official talks between His Majesty King Hamad and visiting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi yesterday.
“Bilateral trade between Bahrain and Egypt is set to exceed $1bn this year from last year’s $800 million,” said Shaikh Salman.
“We also have bigger interests that would double our current investments from $3.3bn to $6.6bn in Egypt,” he added. “This will come with a joint investment platform between our sovereign funds.
“Our ambitions are high and don’t stop at current strong sectors, such as agriculture and logistics, but also promising fields like scientific advancements and artificial intelligence.”
He added that current Bahraini bank assets in Egyptian banks stood at $8bn.
“The 10 agreements on investment opportunities, trade and commerce, judicial development, agriculture and food security, education and health we have signed lay down the foundations to reach even greater heights that we seek together.”
Egyptian Planning and Economic Development Minister Dr Hala El Saeed said mutual agreements on strategic sectors would be drawn up alongside a road map for securing potential future partnerships.
“There are global challenges outside the Arab world and the region that are affecting us,” she said. “Joint work with Bahrain will certainly help act as an accelerator for both countries to achieve economic recovery and stability.
“Bahrain has interests in numerous sectors in Egypt and we have interests in other sectors here. There is potential for more integration and to push ahead with ways to work closely together in the future.”
She explained that Egypt was interested in Bahrain’s advanced telecommunications and network capabilities, for example.
“Everyone knows that the pandemic has shifted life more online and Bahrain’s ability to maintain strong telecom communications, without disruptions or pressure, is something we would want to explore,” said Dr El Saeed.
“There are other promising sectors that we will seek to work together on, like tourism and business development, knowing that Bahrain is ranked as our 16th highest world trade partner.”
Meanwhile, speaking on the sidelines of the Press conference held at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, Industry and Commerce Minister Zayed Alzayani said Egypt had been granted official partner status in the Bahrain Global Sea-to-Air Hub.
“Easier and efficient logistics will improve the flow of trade between both countries,” he said. “Expanding our network of partners encourages Egyptian businesses to increase their trade through us into the region and on to the rest of the world.”
Mumtalakat chief executive Khalid Al Rumaihi said the new investment platforms offer both countries wider options to inject funds.
“There are multiple interesting ideas being aired and after thorough feasibility studies together there may be further investment opportunities,” he added.
Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister Nawaf Al Maawda said digitalisation of judicial and legal services was always on the agenda.
“Egyptian judicial and legal conventional practises are of a high standard in the region and we aim to bring them together with current digitalised services in the country as well as those envisioned for the future,” he said. “It is all about how we could mutually benefit from developing our justice systems.”
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