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In a boost to the growing trade and commerce ties between Bahrain and China, a high-level delegation from the Kingdom set out on a trip to the Asian economic powerhouse earlier this week. The delegation, organized by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and led by the Capital Governor H.E. Sheikh Hisham Bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, was in the Shenzhen metropolis in the latest leg of their trip. The delegation met with several local government officials and politicians including the city’s vice mayor Al Xuefeng to discuss new economic opportunities to strengthen cooperation.

Praising Bahrain’s thriving business and startup ecosystem, vice mayor Al Xuefeng said: “Bahrain is known as the Pearl of Gulf and is an important port on the ancient Maritime Silk Road. Bahrain is also one of the most open and dynamic countries with a top-ranking business environment in the Middle East.”

He further stated that Bahrain and Shenzhen already share close economic ties, which will further grow with an increasing focus on “key areas including finance, ICT, innovation and startup, and tourism.”

During the trip, the delegation and Shenzhen officials inked eight landmark agreements concerning the technology and transportation industries. These include:

  • A MoU between EDB and artificial (AI) intelligence firm Intellifusion Technologies.

  • EDB’s new partnership with Shenzhen FinTech company, IAPPPAY, to build a full mobile payment gateway in the Kingdom.

  • EDB’s MoU with Shenzhen Outbound Alliance to facilitate a better framework for information exchange, more impactful economic cooperation, and a more efficient communication channel for investment opportunities and business info.

  • A MoU between EDB and Softbank China Capital to turn Bahrain into a regional hub for the investment giant and its portfolio companies.

  • Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry‘s MoU with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shenzhen Branch (CCPITSZ) for bolstering trade and investments between the two countries.

  • An agreement between EDB and Shenzhen Cool-hi Network Culture Technology to do more for the promotion and growth of the e-sports industry in Bahrain and China.

  • A tie-up between EDB and CCPITSZ to encourage more collaborative initiatives between Shenzhen and Bahrain on business and economic fronts.

  • A MoU between EDB and 4PX under which the latter will explore new possibilities for establishing funds together with Bahraini companies.

Worth noting here is that the close relationship between Shenzhen and Bahrain goes a long way and was further reinforced in 2016 when the Kingdom’s capital city Manama was declared a sister city of Shenzhen.