Sunday November 28, 2021

Pakistan to tap trade, investment potential with Bahrain

July 27, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the Kingdom of Bahrain will hold Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) from 28-29 July in Manama to sign an accord to further trade and investment ties and undertake collaborative projects, The News learnt on Monday.

This would be the second session of the JMC between both the countries, as previously, the 1st session of the Pak-Bahrain Joint JMC was held on 5-6 February 2017 at Islamabad.

Board of Investment (BOI) being the premier investment promotion agency of Pakistan working under the administrative control of the Prime Minister’s Office is mandated to promote and facilitate both local & foreign investment and has initiated the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The meeting would focus on bilateral cooperation in various sectors including political, defence, economic, commerce, finance and banking, industry, public health, overseas employment, higher education, science and technology, information, culture and arts, agriculture and livestock, cultural cooperation, and parliamentary exchanges.

The Bahraini side would be led by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani, while Minister for Foreign Affairs, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi would represent Pakistan.

The delegation from Pakistan would comprise several high officials from BOI, Petroleum Division, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Economic Affairs, and Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development. This meeting would be a major breakthrough in terms of showcasing Pakistan’s lucrative investment opportunities to Bahrain.

Pakistan has adopted a very liberal and investor-friendly investment policy, which provides no restriction on remitting capital. All sectors are open for investments and equal treatment is given to local and foreign investors.

In regards to promoting trade and business development, some sectors of interest include manufacturing, financial services, tourism, healthcare and education, logistics, information and communication technology, and vocational training.

It is worth mentioning that during the first session, there was a consensus that volume of bilateral trade is much below the potential of both countries and future prospects in this regard were discussed. The Pakistani side also proposed to offer Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Pakistan to Bahraini investors, which was well received by the Bahraini side.

The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $117.23 million in 2019-2020. Pakistan’s exports to Bahrain include rice, cotton yarn, textured yarn, printing ink etc. Whereas, major imports from Bahrain include ferrous waste and scrap, iron or steel and petroleum bitumen.