The General Organisation of Sea Ports (GOP) has announced the signing of a significant logistics agreement with the City of Nuremberg, Federal Republic of Germany for developing mutual co-operation and enhancing bilateral relations between Nuremberg and the General Organisation of Sea Ports, Kingdom of Bahrain. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the GOP represented by Chairman Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa, and Nuremberg City represented by the Deputy Mayor of the City and CEO of Business and Infrastructure of the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region Dr. Roland Fleck in Nuremberg during the GOP’s second annual road show to Germany last week.
With the prime objective of strengthening the logistics relations and promoting bilateral exchange of information, know-how and technology between the two countries, the MoU will provide a solid framework for mutual co-operation. As part of the agreement, both Germany and the Kingdom of Bahrain will develop logistical relations providing marketing support for all logistics companies to gain access to the markets in Middle East and Germany as well as Europe.
In addition, both countries will support the development of cooperation between all relevant logistics organisations, institutions, associations and administrations with regard to infrastructure, technology and science. The technical logistics expertise and cooperation will be implemented through this MoU in conjunction with Nuremberg Inland Port and Freight Village in Germany.
Stressing the importance of the MOU Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa said: “The agreement is a key milestone in bolstering exchange of business between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Germany, leading us towards establishing stronger logistics engagements with the European market. It signifies a strategic step towards promoting the Kingdom’s logistics and maritime credentials and strengthening the delivery of international best practices in logistics management. The MoU is particularly important at this crucial time for both the Nuremberg region and Bahrain. With the world gradually emerging from recession, the agreement comes at an opportune time consolidating Bahrain’s position as an ideal regional base and gateway from which German and international businesses will be able to access the trillion dollar, priority target markets of the Gulf.”
Prior to signing the MoU, the GOP delegation showcased the Kingdom’s logistics and maritime credentials with logistics specialists at a business exchange meeting in Nuremberg. As part of the meeting the GOP team delivered a presentation on Bahrain’s Investment Environment, Maritime & New Port exploring opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in maritime and logistics industries.
As part of its efforts to boost trade ties in important international markets, the GOP delegation headed by Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa was in Germany to promote the Kingdom’s logistics and maritime credentials. The high level delegation included Abdulla Khalil Al Muraikhi, Adviser to the Chairman, Abdulrazak J. Zainalabedin Economic Advisor to the Chairman, Maysoon Sabkar, Director of Marketing and Communications, Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Head of Planning, Bahrain Logistics Zone (BLZ) and Bassam Ameen, Head of Business Development, BLZ.
The GOP delegation to Germany was accompanied by senior members of the Bahrain German society including Abdul Jaleel A. Kareem Al Ansari, President, and board members Andreas Buelow, Eva Steinhaus and Mr. Khalid Turk, who attended and supported all events in Berlin and Nuremberg.
During the five day visit which commenced in Berlin, the GOP delegation also attended the 13th German Arab Business Forum where Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa addressed the forum’s key note session opening, while a representative from BLZ showcased the Kingdom of Bahrain as a multimodal logistics centre for the European market. Speaking at the forum, Shaikh Daij said: “Germany is a target market and a valuable partner for Bahrain. The Kingdom’s bilateral trade with Germany has been growing steadily over the years and with exciting new developments in Bahrain’s maritime and logistics sectors the future looks even more promising for our two nations. With its new facilities such as the state-of-the-art Khalifa Bin Salman Port, and a new multi-modal logistics park, Bahrain Logistics Zone, the Kingdom of Bahrain is now better positioned than ever before, to facilitate access to the Gulf markets.”
Other distinguished key note speakers at the opening of the German Arab Forum included Dr. Thomas Bach President of the Ghorfa Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, H.E. Prof. Dr. med. Ossama Abdulmajed Ali Shobokshi Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & Doyen of the Arab Diplomatic Corps,and Dr. Bernd Pfaffenbach State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, who recently visited Bahrain as part of the high-level German delegation headed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The GOP sponsored the opening reception of the forum attended by 300 people. The three day forum was attended by over 500 delegates, including representatives from various Arab nations including Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen and Palestine. Bahrain’s Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Ahmed Mohammed Yousif Aldoseri accompanied the delegation and participated in all the programs in Berlin.
As part of the visit, the GOP delegation also attended a lunch chaired by Dr. Gerhard Schröder Honorary Chairman, Near and Middle East Association (NUMOV) Former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (1998-2005), where the delegation met Erich Staake, CEO of Duisport the largest inland port in the world. As Germany’s oldest and largest non-profit independent service provider for the Near and Middle East region, NUMOV supports the bilateral business activities between Germany and the Near and Middle East.
Bahrain’s bilateral trade with Germany has been growing steadily over the years and the non-oil trade between the two countries crossed the 500 million euro mark in 2007. With the recent visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Kingdom last month, the two countries have called for the establishment of a Joint Bahraini-German Committee for economic, trade and technical cooperation and increasing trade balance between the two nations. The kingdom also called for promoting political dialogue and economic partnership between GCC states and the European Union through carrying on the negotiations aiming to sign a Free Trade Agreement between them.
The GOP continues to actively promote Bahrain’s maritime and logistics industries to facilitate investments into the Kingdom from targeted countries. The successful German road show was the second of the four international tours planned this year. Upcoming road shows in the latter half of the year will include India and United Kingdom.