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ASEAN Bahrain Council delegation pays visit

Released at: 14:44, 18/04/2018

ASEAN Bahrain Council delegation pays visit

Photo: Khanh Chi (VET)

Opening of two Bahraini trade promotion offices in Hanoi and HCMC this year announced during April 11-17 visit.

by Hong Nhung

An ASEAN Bahrain Council (ABC) delegation, under the patronage of Chairman Sheikh Duaij bin Isa Al-Khalifa, paid a visit to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City between April 11 and 17 in order to promote Vietnamese - Bahraini cross-cultural association as well as business cooperation between two countries’ business communities.

It held two networking sessions with Vietnam’s business elite in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on April 12 and 16, respectively, in order to push up joint business activities and help achieve the objectives of economic growth and prosperity across ASEAN and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

The ABC called on Vietnamese companies to set up in Bahrain, saying the country is not only a gateway to other regions but also a tax haven.

Speaking at the networking session in Ho Chi Minh City, Chairman Al-Khalifa stressed that Bahrain is a liberal gateway for all ASEAN countries in their quest for sounding out investment and business opportunities in the Gulf countries.

“As the most modern and freest Middle Eastern economy, Bahrain provides a host of business opportunities for the business communities in ASEAN,” he said.

He added that Bahrain serves as a gateway to not only GCC countries but also the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It provides 100 per cent repatriation of capital, zero income tax, and no import duties on raw materials and machinery imported for establishing manufacturing facilities in the country.

He added the country is the financial capital of the GCC countries and has direct access to the US and the UK for all businesses set up there. He therefore emphasized a desire for greater participation by Vietnam’s business community in Bahrain’s budding business environment in order to reap the benefits of the best business environment in the MENA region and GCC countries.

He also announced that Bahrain would open two trade promotion offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City this year to facilitate trade with Vietnam and other countries in the ASEAN bloc.

“Forty-one countries have committed to eliminating double taxation with Bahrain, whose vibrant business environment will benefit many Vietnamese enterprises,” said ABC’s Vice Treasurer Shabbir Sharafali. “Doing business in Bahrain is over 30 per cent cheaper than in Dubai. Foreign companies are not subject to corporate, personal income, or capital growth taxes and can invest in a variety of fields, such as financial services, manufacturing, logistics, tourism, and information technology.”

Mr. Vo Tan Thanh, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City chapter of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said such commitments provide a great opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises to increase their exports to the Persian Gulf.

“Bahrain has major demand for textiles, leather, footwear, seafood and other agricultural products, and handicrafts, which are all export staples of Vietnam,” he added. “Many Bahraini businesses have expressed an interest in directly importing Vietnamese textiles and furniture. Bahrain must currently import certain Vietnamese products via a third country and wants to switch to direct imports.”

Founded in September 2017, the ASEAN Bahrain Council is a non-profit association regulated by the Ministry of Social Affairs in Bahrain. Its mission is to promote and strengthen trade, investment and goodwill between ASEAN countries and Bahrain.

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