Pakistan, Bahrain to sign MoU for promotion of bilateral trade, investment 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Bahrain will sign a memorandum of understanding for the promotion of trade and investment opportunities during the second session of Pak-Bahrain Joint Ministerial Commission, opening in Manama on July 28.
The MoU between the Board of Investment (BOI) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) of Bahrain will provide a framework within which both countries would be able to develop and undertake collaborative activities and projects; share knowledge and would have integrated technical exchange and assistance in the areas of mutual interest.
The BOI expects the joint commission meeting will be a major breakthrough in terms of showcasing Pakistan’s lucrative investment opportunities to Bahrain.
Pakistan has adopted a very liberal and investor’s 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.
Profit learnt that a joint working group on trade and investment will also be set up by the joint ministerial commission which will provide both the countries an opportunity to discuss various trade related issues and opportunities. Pakistan is eager to attract investments from Bahrain and strengthen bilateral trade and investment relations.
It is pertinent to mention here that the second session of Pak-Bahrain joint ministerial commission is being held after a gap of over four years.
The inaugural session of the commission was held in Islamabad in February 2017.  Previously, bilateral trade and economic relations were taken up at the level of the joint economic committee but as relations between the two countries grew, it was mutually decided to upgrade the committee to the level of a ministerial commission.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is leading the Pakistan delegation at the two-day joint ministerial commission meeting, while the Bahraini side will be chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani.
The Pakistan delegation will comprise of several high officials from the BOI, Petroleum Division, and ministries of commerce, economic affairs and overseas Pakistanis and human resource development.
The meeting will 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.
With regard 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 will come up for discussion during the meeting.
Furthermore, the third session of the Joint Business Council, third Pakistan-Bahrain business opportunities conference, and visa facilitation for businessmen as well as business-to-business interactions will also come up for discussion at meeting.
During the first session of the commission held in Islamabad in 2017, a consensus was built that the volume of bilateral trade was much below the potential of both countries and further avenues of increasing bilateral trade should be tapped.
Pakistan has already proposed to Bahraini investors to take advantage of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) being developed under the umbrella of CPEC.
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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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