In a landmark agreement, Bahrain has initiated a groundbreaking investment deal worth a staggering £1 billion with the UK.
The agreement reached during the recent visit of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister to London has set the stage for a Strategic Investment and Collaboration Partnership between the two nations, opening up a world of opportunities in various fields.
The deal signifies a new era of collaboration and partnership, opening doors to a multitude of opportunities in various sectors and fostering growth and prosperity for both countries. During the visit, HRH Prince Salman held several key meetings. He met with the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, at 10 Downing Street. At the meeting, HRH Prince Salman highlighted the deep-rooted relationship between the two kingdoms, which is based on solid foundations that go back more than 200 years. He affirmed Bahrain’s steadfast commitment to strengthening bilateral collaboration in support of Bahrain’s comprehensive development goals, led by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. He also noted the UK’s role, alongside the kingdom’s allies, in maintaining international security and stability.
The two leaders witnessed the signing of the key bilateral MoU, which facilitates the £1bn investment from Bahrain’s private sector into the UK economy, through the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat, Investcorp, GFH Financial Group, and Osool Asset Management. Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and UK Investment Minister Dominic Johnson signed the agreement.
HRH also attended a business reception in London, organised by London Mayor Lord Alderman Nicholas Lyons, and UK Business and Trade State Secretary Kemi Badenoch, in cooperation with leading British enterprises.
At the reception, Prince Salman highlighted Team Bahrain’s determination and commitment to achieving the kingdom’s wide-ranging and comprehensive development goals, led by His Majesty King Hamad. 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 his speech at the reception, Shaikh Salman said the joint economic initiatives will contribute to reinforcing Bahrain-UK cooperation, adding a new dimension to the longstanding relations that span more than 200 years. He noted the accelerated growth witnessed by the GCC countries, with their economies collectively growing
during 2022 by 7.3 per cent to reach a total of $2 trillion.
He stressed the importance of the UK-GCC Free Trade Agreement in expanding multi-dimensional economic prospects with the UK. In this regard, he announced the full recognition of the Bahraini British Business Forum as an official branch of the British Chamber of Commerce. Bahrain’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.
“Bahrain has achieved faster economic growth than ever before, with 2022 economic indicators revealing an 83.1pc contribution to the GDP at constant prices by the non-oil sector, which is the highest in the history of Bahrain,” noted Shaikh Salman.
“Moreover, overall GDP witnessed a growth of 4.9pc at constant prices, which is the highest growth since 2013. “The non-oil sector recorded a growth rate of 6.2pc at constant prices, which is the highest growth rate since 2012,” he said, noting that these statistics follow years of diligent hard work and careful planning to move forward into a more sustainable economy. Commenting on the occasion, Lord Lyons, also noted that the high number of UK business leaders attending the reception demonstrated the desire to strengthen UK-Bahrain 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,” he said.
“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 Bahraini and UK private sectors, also attended the reception.
Several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signed during the visit of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister to the UK:
- An MoU on Digital Economy (DE), signed by the Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and the UK State Secretary for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch.
- An MoU on biodiversity and marine pollution, signed by the Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Abdullatif Al Zayani, and the UK Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science deputy chief executiveTim Green.
- An MoU on the facilitation of internships for Bahrainis in UK, signed by the Central Bank of Bahrain governor Rashid Al Maraj, and Naisbitt King Group chairman Alastair King.
- 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 BIBF chief executive Dr Ahmed Al Shaikh, and LIBF chief executive Alex Fraser.
- 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 Danat chief executive Noora Jamsheer, and MALCA-AMIT managing director Charles Frederick Richard Turner.
- An MoU on the provision of financial asset management services and investment opportunities, signed by SICO chief executive Najla Al Shirawi, and Northern Trust executive vice president, and Europe, Middle East and Africa president Teresa Parker.
● The granting of the UK the status of authorized partner of the GlobalCentre for Maritime and Air Cargo Services
● The launch of a British company specialized 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 fintech projects in Bahrain
● The establishment of an investment platform to manage student housing assets in UK