Foreword from Roddy Drummond, British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain
I am delighted to pen this foreword to our Guide to Doing Business with Bahrain. Both the Institute of Export & International Trade and Her Majesty’s Government are eager to support UK companies to do more business internationally and to support successful market entry. Bahrain has plenty of opportunities and we would like to see more British companies develop their activities here.
I arrived in Bahrain in August 2019. In my early calls on the Bahraini leadership, including His Majesty, HRH the Prime Minister and HRH the Crown Prince, and ministers across the government, several things have been clear. Firstly, the deep Bahraini attachment to the relationship with the UK, and a real understanding of our politics and institutions. Secondly, a determination to continue to strengthen our collaboration to support Bahraini growth and diversification, and to access British expertise. My challenge is to build on the excellent work of my predecessors and find new ways to co-operate to the mutual benefit of both Kingdoms.
There is a healthy appetite for British goods and services in Bahrain, with over 180 registered British branch offices and over 700 British companies represented or active in the market through partnerships and agents. With bilateral trade of over £1.1 billion in the four quarters up to March 2019, the UK remains the partner of choice in many sectors.
The World Bank has rated Bahrain among the top 20 improvers in the world in their annual Ease of Doing Business report, improving faster than other GCC countries. Bahrain’s reforms have made it easier to do business in nine out of ten areas rated by the World Bank. I hear similarly positive assessments from British legal firms, banks and consultants, and several British firms are finding Bahrain to be an excellent base from which to access other GCC markets, notably Saudi Arabia and its Eastern Province. I am delighted that British consultants will lead work on the future Saudi Causeway project. Amongst several education successes, Strathclyde recently announced an MSc in Fintech, the first such Masters in the GCC.
We hope this guide will be a valuable source of knowledge and support along with both our Institute of Export colleagues and my Department for International Trade team. Bahrain has a dynamic and growing economy and there will be many opportunities for UK companies to seize. I wish you all the success in your entry to the Bahrain market and please do contact my International Trade team if we can help in any way.
British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain
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