Officials from the Economic Development Board (EDB) recently visited Japan and South Korea to promote for Bahrain as a preferred regional destination for investment, specifically in the ICT sector.
The visit to Japan followed an MOU signed by the EDB and the Japan Information Services Association (JISA) in September. The memorandum aims to strengthen cooperation between both sides to enhance bilateral relations and the exchange of technical information in the ICT industry in both countries.
Around 50 JISA members attended the event in Tokyo last week, where EDB officials highlighted the various opportunities available to foreign investors and companies looking to launch operations in the Kingdom, including the highly skilled national workforce, relatively low cost of living, and high human capital development, which leading international companies and investors have continuously utilised to access neighbouring GCC markets.
While in Korea, the EDB, in collaboration with Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), organised a seminar introducing regional opportunities to Korean ICT companies. Around 65 people from 47 companies attended the seminar where they were briefed on case studies of successful Korean investments in Bahrain, including LG CNS who showcased their experience working on the Business License Information System (BLIS) project with the Bahrain e-Government.
Commenting on the visits, Vivian Jamal, the Executive Director of Business Development at the EDB, said:
"We expect this visit to Japan and South Korea to pave the way for future collaborations between companies from these countries and their counterparts in Bahrain. The visit helped in promoting for the Kingdom’s economic fundamentals and competitive advantages and has answered many questions raised by businessmen from Japan and Korea on establishing investment in Bahrain."
Bahrain has close diplomatic and economic relationships with Japan and South Korea, dating back to 1932 and 2012, respectively, since the reopening of the South Korean embassy in Bahrain two years ago. Japan is one of Bahrain’s major trading partners and Bahrain is also home to a number of major Japanese companies including Nomura Securities, Toyota, Yokogawa, and Daiwa Securities. South Korean companies present in the Kingdom include Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Korea Exchange Bank, and Woori Bank.