A delegation has been sent to South Korea as part of an official three-day state visit led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain and Chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB),  to further strengthen bilateral political and trade relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Republic of South Korea.

The visit, which begins today and continues to 2nd May, will see the delegation engage in high level talks with South Korean officials and private sector leaders, and will include visits to leading businesses in Seoul. The roadshow provides an opportunity to boost links between Bahrain and South Korea, who already share a number of commercial agreements and whose strong diplomatic relations are highlighted by the re-opening of the South Korean embassy in Bahrain in September 2011. As part of the roadshow, the EDB has organised a number of one-to-one meetings for members of the private sector as well as visits to leading companies including Samsung.

A number of South Korean companies are involved in large scale projects in Bahrain, from steel and water treatment plants to telecom projects, including GS Engineering & Construction and LS Cable. In addition, Samsung Engineering recently chose Bahrain as their base in a region where the market size is forecast by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to double to USD two trillion by 2020.

Dr Esam Abdullah Fakhro, Chairman, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), said: “There is considerable interest in Bahrain from South Korean companies. East Asia is a growing region for businesses in Bahrain, and this visit provides a vital opportunity to speak directly to South Korean businesses about Bahrain’s compelling proposition as a strategic business location and the most diversified economy and mature commercial environment in the Gulf.”

The other members of the Bahrain delegation are:

  • HE Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • HE Dr. Hassan bin Abdulla Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce
  • Samir Nass, Group Managing Director & Vice Chairman, Nass Group
  • Abdulhameed Kooheji, Chairman, AJM Alkooheji
  • Jawad Yousuf Al-Hawaj, Managing Director, AlHawaj Group
  • Khalid Ali Al-Amin, Director & COO of Retail Operations, Ali Rashid Al-Amin & Sons
  • Dr Samer Al-Jishi, Managing Director, BFG International
  • Ahmed Bin Hindi, Chairman, Bin Hindi
  • Fawzi Ahmed Kanoo, deputy Chairman, YBA Kanoo
  • Ahmed Mirza Jawahery, Chairman & CEO, Middle East Trading & Engineering ESt. (METEE)
  • Fouad Tabet (TBC)
  • Mohammed AlQaed, Chief Executive, E-Gov
  • Zayed Rashid Al-Zayani, Vice Chairman, Al Zayani Investments

According to the Korean International Trade Association, total trade between Korea and GCC is estimated to have reached USD 112.8 billion in 2011, with the GCC emerging as Korea’s second largest trading partner after China.   South Korea is currently the fifth largest trading partner of the GCC accounting for eight per cent of the entire region’s trade.

Rushika Bhatia Editor

Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of SME Advisor magazine - the flagship title of CPI Business. She is passionate about infographics – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.

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