The potential establishment of a European Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain signifies a pivotal opportunity for fostering robust co-operation between the kingdom and the European Union (EU).

This was highlighted by Bahrain Chamber chairman Sameer Nass during his address as part of the EU-GCC Dialogue on Economic Diversification at The Ritz-Carlton yesterday.

Mr Nass also said the European Chamber of Commerce will contribute to strengthening bilateral relations and deepening economic cooperation between Bahrain and Europe, especially since the Bahraini private sector is keen to establish co-operative projects and partnerships with its European counterparts.

The Bahrain Chamber chairman also said the GCC-EU free trade agreement, currently under negotiation, could boost commerce and investment between the two blocs in a big way.

He emphasised the strong relations between the GCC countries and the European Union, especially since the GCC is the ninth largest trading partner of the European Union in 2022, with the volume of trade reaching 174 billion euros in 2022.

Moreover, the European Union is the second largest trading partner of the GCC countries.

Mr Nass pointed out that there are strong opportunities to further promote trade and investment between Europe and Bahrain.

He highlighted opportunities for European companies to invest in many promising sectors in Bahrain such as finance, technology, and renewable energy.

In addition, European countries are characterised by diversity and leadership in various industries.

In a meeting with Thomas Juergensen, minister counsellor and head of the trade section of the European Union Delegation to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain, at the Bahrain Chamber’s Bait Al Tijjar headquarters also held yesterday, Mr Nass said: “The aim is to enhance our trade and investment flows, support the stability of the respective business and investment environments, and further promote the integration of our economies.”

Attended by Bahrain Chamber first vice chairman Khalid Najibi and board members Basim AlSaie and Abdulwahab Alhawaj, the meeting saw discussions centering around the areas of co-operation between the Bahrain Chamber and the EU-GCC Dialogue on Economic Diversification.

Through joint ventures and collaborative endeavours, such as knowledge-sharing, investment facilitation, and technology transfer, both entities can leverage each other’s strengths to foster sustainable economic growth and prosperity for the region.

The partnership embodies a shared commitment to innovation, development, and mutually beneficial exchanges that pave the way for a more prosperous future.

Mr Juergensen said the two sides have a common strategic ambition to speed up the green and digital transformations of their respective economies and societies.

“We also need to facilitate investment flows between the European Union and GCC, including by jointly tackling so-called ‘beyond the border barriers’ like regulatory obstacles for investors or localisation requirements,” he added.

The session also saw a presentation on the recently established European Chamber of Commerce in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (ECCKSA) which is leverages its strong governmental relationships to facilitate market access for member companies, ensuring fair opportunities for both European and Saudi businesses.


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