Bahrain Finance Minister, Rishad affirm bilateral cooperation

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:07 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

BNA: Minister of Finance and Minister In-charge of Oil and Gas Affairs Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa described the official visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Kingdom of Bahrain as a precious opportunity to showcase Bahrain as a leading regional Islamic and conventional banking hub. The Minister of Finance in a statement to Bahrain News Agency (BNA) on the sidelines of the Bahrain-Sri Lanka Business Forum at the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) yesterday praised existing friendly political and positive multidimensional cooperation relations between Manama and Colombo, especially in the economic, trade and investment fields. The Minister of Finance said the President Rajapaksa’s official State visit to Bahrain will see the signing of important agreements that would result in a stronger launch-pad for cooperation in various economic and investment fields which serve both friendly countries. The Minister said that the joint forum was a golden opportunity for financial institutions operating in Bahrain which have branches in Asia to consider the potential of expansion into the Sri Lankan financial and banking market. Shaikh Ahmed also praised the diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Sri Lanka, citing the importance of intensification of mutual cooperation, the exchanging of visits of business delegations and opening of new horizons of bilateral cooperation as well as pushing forward the growth of economic cooperation between the two sides. Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen praised the abundance of promising investment opportunities in Bahrain and Sri Lanka, focusing on tourism and hospitality, building and construction sectors as major economic cooperation fields to be intensified and boosted in both friendly countries. He told Bahrain News Agency (BNA) that the Kingdom of Bahrain features as a link between regional and international markets by virtue of its strategic location and close proximity to neighbouring commercial markets and a good opportunity for Sri Lanka to develop bilateral investments. The Minister emphasised the serious desire of the Sri Lankan private sector to develop economic and investment relations with Bahrain and to multiply the volume of bilateral trade in all economic fields and sectors, pointing out the importance of exploiting all available investment opportunities on both sides in order to increase the volume of Bahraini-Sri Lankan bilateral trade which hit the $ 30 million mark in 2011. The Minister stressed that Sri Lanka was still a preferable and attractive tourism destination for a large number of Bahrain and GCC citizens all year round, citing the significance of the visit of President Rajapaksa to Bahrain, which offers a unique opportunity to boost tourism cooperation between Manama and Colombo.