(From L to R) Simon Galpin, managing director of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), Dr. Anwar Alabdulla, ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to China, Wang Youming, director general of Invest Shenzhen, and Guo Jingwei, vice director of CCPIT Shenzhen, at the inauguration ceremony Thursday. Courtesy of Bahrain EDB
THE inauguration ceremony of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) Southern China Office (Shenzhen) was held at Shenzhen Four Seasons Hotel yesterday, further deepening ties between the two business, technology and manufacturing hubs and reinforcing Bahrain's strategic positioning in relation to China's Belt and Road Initiative.
"The Pearl River Delta is the most mature manufacturing base in China. It is also the region where the Chinese new economy has emerged, giving birth to world-renowned names such as Huawei, BYD and Tencent," said Dr. Anwar Alabdulla, ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to China.
"Our relationship with lovely Shenzhen stands out among the many successful partnerships we enjoy in China. In 2016, the former mayor of Shenzhen paid an official visit to Bahrain, which marked the starting point of a series of cooperations in sectors such as logistics, real estate, port, technology and e-commerce. In continuing this promising relationship, we have been organizing delegations to participate in the Shenzhen Hi-Tech Fair for several years, and we will maintain this commitment this year," said Alabdulla.
Alabdulla introduced that Manama, the capital of Bahrain, and Shenzhen are sister cities, and the two enjoy many similarities including the migrant-friendly environment and inclusive and easygoing culture.
The ambassador said Bahrain has the most favorable tax regime in the world - zero personal income tax, zero corporate tax, no tax on capital gains, and no restrictions on revenue remittance and foreign exchange.
"I think Shenzhen is a good choice for you, because it is China's first special economic zone and also the most successful one. Shenzhen only has a brief history but now it has become an important economic power in China," said Wang Youming, director general of Invest Shenzhen.
According to Wang, by the end of last year, Shenzhen's GDP totaled around US$300 billion and its population was over 20 million, making it a mega city. "Bahrain, as one of the countries with the highest degree of openness, the most favorable business environment and the strong vitality of development in the gulf region, serves as an important gateway leading China to the Middle East market," said Wang.
"Five years ago, the EDB opened its first office in Beijing, China, and Mr. Jiang Yun was our first representative. Over the past five years, we have seen the relationship between Chinese companies and Bahraini companies grow from strength to strength. The number of registered Chinese companies in Bahrain has surged from 60 to more than 600, and the inbound stock of investment from China has increased from US$30 million to US$300 million," said Simon Galpin, managing director of Bahrain EDB.
The Bahrain EDB Southern China Office (Shenzhen) is located in the Excellence Century Center in Futian, with Liu Miaomiao as the southern China representative.