HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister attends a business reception held in the UK

Manama, July 4 (BNA): His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, today attended a business reception in London, organised by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Rt. Hon Alderman Nicholas Lyons, and the Secretary of State for Business and Trade of the United Kingdom, the Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch, in cooperation with leading British enterprises.
The reception took place in honour of HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister's official visit to the United Kingdom.
His Royal Highness highlighted Team Bahrain’s determination and commitment to achieving the Kingdom’s wide-ranging comprehensive development goals, led by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister emphasised the importance of supporting economic and investment cooperation by bolstering current partnerships that contribute to furthering the Kingdom’s priority sectors and to its competitiveness on a regional and global scale.
His Royal Highness noted the importance of the Kingdom’s partnerships with international allies which has yielded lucrative economic investment opportunities that have generated economic growth.
His Royal Highness went on to recognise the role played by the Kingdom’s private sector in advancing economic development, in line with strategic goals that aim to support an equitable economy that benefits all.
HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad touched on the strength and depth of relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the UK, emphasising the importance of furthering wide-ranging cooperation to strengthen longstanding ties between both countries and their peoples. 
His Royal Highness commended the ongoing efforts of the EDB to attract investment to Bahrain by highlighting the Kingdom's efforts to diversify its economy and create quality opportunities for citizens.
During the reception, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Prime Minister met with the Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Rt. Hon Alderman Nicholas Lyons, where His Royal Highness noted both countries’ shared interest in furthering bilateral partnerships that unlock fresh opportunities across diverse sectors.
HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister then witnessed the signing ceremony of several agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, which includes: 
1.           An MoU on Digital Economy (DE), signed by the Minister of Finance and National Economy, HE Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and the UK’s Secretary of State for the Department for Business and Trade, The Rt Hon, Kemi Badenoch.
2.           An MoU on biodiversity and marine pollution, signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, HE Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, and the Deputy Chief Executive of Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Tim Green. 
3.           An MoU on the facilitation of internships for Bahrainis in the United Kingdom, signed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, HE Rasheed Mohamed Al Maraj, and the Chairman of Naisbitt King Group, Alastair King.
4.           An MoU between the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) and the London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF), on strengthening cooperation and the exchange of expertise in banking and finance training and education. The MoU was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of BIBF, Dr Ahmed Abdul Hameed Abdul Ghani AlShaikh, and the Chief Executive of LIBF, Alex Fraser.
5.           An agreement to launch services for testing pearls and precious gemstones by the Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones "Danat" in the UK. The agreement was signed by the CEO of Danat, Noura Jamsheer, and the Managing Director of MALCA-AMIT, Charles Frederick Richard Turner.
6.           An MoU on the provision of financial asset management services and investment opportunities, signed by the CEO of SICO, Najla Al Shirawi, and Executive Vice President, and President of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Northern Trust, Teresa Parker.
Furthermore, several announcements were made: 
•            The granting of the UK the status of authorised partner of the Global Center for Maritime and Air Cargo Services
•            The launch of a British company specialised in insurance brokerage services
•            The establishment of a regional services hub for PwC Middle East, which will contribute to providing 250 jobs
•            The launch of a studio for financial technology projects in Bahrain
•            The Establishment of an investment platform to manage student housing assets in the United Kingdom
The Minister of Finance and National Economy, HE Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, then gave a speech in which he highlighted the Kingdom of Bahrain’s pride, under HM the King’s leadership, in its longstanding relations with the UK. 
HE Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa noted the importance of further bolstering strategic cooperation across a wide-range of sectors in line with joint development goals. In this regard, HE Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa emphasised the importance of HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister’s official visit to the UK in strengthening the deep-rooted bond between both countries.
The Minister of Finance and National Economy emphasised that the announced joint economic initiatives and signed agreements and MoUs will contribute to reinforcing Bahrain-UK cooperation, adding a new dimension to the longstanding relations that span more than 200 years.
HE Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa noted the accelerated growth witnessed by the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with its economies collectively growing during 2022 by 7.3%, to reach a total of USD 2 trillion.
His Excellency stressed the importance of UK-Gulf Cooperation Council FTA in expanding new multi-dimensional economic prospects with the UK. In this regard, HE Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa announced the full recognition of the Bahraini British Business Forum as an official branch of the British Chamber of Commerce.
HE Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa reviewed the promising investment opportunities provided in Bahrain, as well as the Kingdom’s wide-ranging efforts to diversify its economy, to promote investments between Bahrain and global markets. The Kingdom’s economic performance, far-reaching programmes and initiatives, including the Economic Recovery Plan, which aim to achieve the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, were also reviewed.
HE Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa outlined that the Kingdom of Bahrain has achieved faster economic growth than ever before, with 2022 economic indicators revealing a 83.1% contribution to the GDP at constant prices by the non-oil sector, which is the highest in the history of Bahrain. Moreover, overall GDP witnessed a growth of 4.9% at constant prices, which is the highest growth since 2013.
His Excellency added that the non-oil sector recorded a growth of 6.2% at constant prices, which is the highest growth rate since 2012, noting that these statistics follow years of diligent hard work and careful planning to move forward into a more sustainable economy.
HE noted the Kingdom’s commitment to further its partnerships with its allies, to achieve comprehensive development that benefits the global economy, concluding by emphasising the Kingdom’s strategic location as an ideal gateway to the region’s vast and ever-expanding market. 
Commenting on the occasion, Lord Mayor of London, Nicholas Lyons, said:
“It’s an honour to be hosting HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister and Crown Prince of Bahrain, at this reception. The links between the UK and Bahrain remain strong. The high number of UK business leaders attending this event demonstrates the desire to strengthen these economic links further.
“As a world leader in financial services and green finance, UK businesses are well placed to assist Bahrain’s own ‘Vision 2030’ to strengthen the private sector and diversify the economy. Focused on sustainability, fairness and competitiveness, Vision 2030 will help ensure that Bahrain’s economy continues to thrive well into the remainder of the 21st Century.”
A number of senior officials as well as representatives from the Bahrain and UK private sector, also attended the reception.




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