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Bahrain takes to the road, air and sea

No company in oil, gas, petrochemical or food production logistics (or any company for that matter) can ignore the vibrancy and spectacular growth of the Gulf region.
 
Worth $1.6 trillion, successfully accessing that market can be achieved by operating from the right location, which boasts advanced infrastructure and open business relationships.
 
These strategic advantages, all available in Bahrain, were stressed by Mr. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) in an exclusive ‘Red Sofa’ interview at Transport Logistic 2015, the world’s largest logistics and supply-chain management trade fair.
 
The Kingdom joined 2,050 exhibitors and 55,000 visitors at this key event which took place in 5th-8th May 2015, in Munich, Germany.
 
Bahrain Pavilion
 
No better place to start
 
As Mr. Al Rumaihi put it, Bahrain is a true logistics gateway to the Gulf. The Kingdom gives the best access to Saudi Arabia, the GCC’s largest economy that accounts for 50 percent of its total market value. Companies that invest in Bahrain are just 25km from Saudi Arabia by road, air or sea, and benefit from proximity and connectivity that no other Gulf country can offer.
 
The right infrastructure
 
Visitors to Transport Logistic learned that Bahrain has a state-of-the-art seaport, a fast-developing industrial investment park, an airport undergoing a $1 billion upgrade, a dedicated multi-modal logistics processing zone and streamlined customs administration. As Bahrain is such a small country, it’s possible for a company to ‘drop’ their goods, clear them in just seven hours and transport to Saudi Arabia in two to three days via the King Fahd Causeway.
 
Cementing growing relationships
 
Bahrain does so much more than simply attract investment. As Mr. Al Rumaihi points out, our objective is to ensure that investors using Bahrain as a base to access the GCC succeed in the long term. In the first instance, they receive step-by-step help and guidance to set up operations in the Kingdom.
 
Many companies, including those from Germany, recognise that Bahrain provides huge business opportunities. Despite this being Bahrain’s first appearance at Transport Logistic, more than 25 companies had B2B meetings with us. A follow-up German business delegation is due to visit Bahrain in late October to see our facilities and meet government and business people with a view to creating private-public sector partnerships.
 
German businesses believe in Bahrain
 
Bahrain-German relationships are strong, with companies such as BASF, Siemens, Deutsche Bank and DHL well established here and logistics specialists like Schmidt Middle East due to start operations soon. Over 500 German nationals from these companies enjoy Bahrain’s liberal, open environment, as well as close business and personal relationships with the local community. This is something that simply does not happen elsewhere in the Gulf.
 
Cue the Red Sofa
 
If you would like to see the full interview with Mr. Al Rumaihi and Germany’s leading logistics publication DVZ, simply click here.
 
1-DVZ interview.jpg
 
 
Final words
 
Mr. Al Rumaihi commented: “During the course of our visit we have seen real recognition that the Gulf is a very exciting market and businesses want to know how they can access it.
 
“We have a very strong story to tell. The Gulf has grown rapidly in recent years. It is now a $1.6 trillion market and in spite of the decline in the oil price, it is expected to reach $2 trillion by 2020. The long-term prospects for this growth are underpinned by a number of factors: the population is young, growing and increasingly educated and we are diversifying our economies away from oil and gas.
 
“The countries of the Gulf are not only more connected to each other than ever before but they are also increasingly at the centre of global flows of people and goods. As a result, it is hardly surprising that transport and logistics is one of the most important areas of growth in the region and attracting attention from international investors.”