A major Italian manufacturing firm will be setting up operations in Bahrain early next year and a multi-million-dollar investment is on the cards, it has emerged.
Declining to provide details like the name of the company and size of the investment, Economic Development Board (EDB) chief executive Khalid Al Rumaihi told the GDN the company is a well-known Italian brand and is involved in exactly the kind of manufacturing process that we want – which is almost end-product for consumers.
“It’s a world-class name that will be making its entry into the Middle East via Bahrain. The development will be in two phases with the first being a distribution and assembly plant and the second being a factory if the first phase goes as planned.”
This was just the first successful outcome of the three-day roadshow to the Italian cities of Milan and Rome, he said at the Armani Hotel in Milan.
A 21-member delegation led by Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Al Zayani expects to conduct at least 30 business meetings with Italian investors and companies besides taking part in the first Italian Arab Business Forum in Milan and in the Confindustria Assafrica and Mediterraneo forum in Rome.
The roadshow is showcasing many investment opportunities and competitive advantages offered by Bahrain in a variety of sectors, including financial services, manufacturing and tourism.
“The visit was at the invitation of Italy’s Ambassador to Bahrain Domenico Bellato,” he said, adding that the Italian Ambassador felt that the best way to tell the “business-friendly Bahrain” story to Italians would be through a high-level delegation including key decision makers and business leaders.
According to Mr Al Rumaihi, the Rome event is dedicated to Bahrain and Bahrain is the only Arab country to have a ministerial keynote at the forum in Milan, which highlighted the kingdom’s appeal among Italian investors. “Our focus is light manufacturing, food, fashion and fintech, and as many as 50 Italian companies will attend the Rome event.”
Roadshows carried out by the EDB contribute significantly to consolidating trade relations with other markets, he added.
“These visits provide a platform for decision makers, investors and representatives from the public and private sectors to discuss best ways to invest in both countries.
“Promoting Bahrain in targeted global markets, in co-operation with the private sector, has led to the establishment of numerous partnerships between Bahraini businesses and their counterparts around the world.
“Companies such as Mondelez, CIMC, Ikea, Chemco, MasterCard and many others have established operations in Bahrain as a result of these efforts.”
Bahrain is currently home to 182 Italian companies, operating across various sectors led by the pharmaceutical and fashion sectors.