TOKYO: Diversification was critical to Bahrain’s economic future, according to the country’s industry and commerce minister during a visit to Japan.

Abdullah Adel Fakhro was speaking on his tour to the east Asian country to investigate new business opportunities.

“Bahrain’s economy cannot survive (as a single property economy),” he told Arab News Japan. We have been attempting to diversify. This includes the financial services industry, which has surpassed the oil sector in terms of GDP (gross domestic product) for the first time.

“The goal of this visit is to significantly expand our presence in non-oil sectors of our economy, particularly industry and the ICT (information and communications technology) sector, as well as other industries such as medicine, aluminum, and petrochemicals, as well as food security and tourism.”

“Today’s economy has become extremely diverse.” The oil sector used to account for 40% of Bahrain’s GDP; now, it accounts for about 20%.

“So, we’re well on our way to diversifying into an economy that isn’t reliant on oil prices,” he said.

Fakhro arrived in Japan with a delegation of 30 people from both the corporate and public sectors. Six government bodies were represented, as were 18 business representatives, including top executives from Bahraini enterprises.

“The trip has been a huge success. Our delegation met with numerous multinational Japanese companies and had extremely successful discussions on the B2B (business-to-business) side.

“The purpose of the visit is to strengthen our bilateral ties with Japan on all fronts, including economic, diplomatic, cultural, and educational ties.”

“There are numerous opportunities for collaboration and investment between our two countries, and we look forward to strengthening these ties.”

“It was also announced that a joint committee will be formed to continue the dialogue about the areas and opportunities where the two sides can collaborate.” Overall, it has been an exceptionally successful trip, and we hope to continue to strengthen this partnership,” the minister said.

Japan and Bahrain have had ties for nearly 100 years, dating back to when oil was discovered and Japan became the first buyer for Bahraini oil.

“We are very proud of this historic relationship,” Fakhro stated, “and since that time, this relationship has only grown stronger.”

He emphasized that interactions included educational, cultural, and economic aspects in addition to diplomacy.

• This item was originally published on Arab News Japan.




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