Organizational meeting of the Russian-Bahrain Business Council.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia hosted a meeting of the Russian-Bahrain Business Council chaired by its head, ex-head of «Vnesheconombank» Vladimir Dmitriev. The vice-president of the RF CCI Georgy Petrov took part in the discussion of the issues on the agenda.

The RBBC meeting began with a discussion of the state of Russian-Bahraini business ties in the light of the forthcoming visit of the delegation of the Business Council to Manama on April 5, 2016. Vladimir Dmitriev in his speech noted that the Council took a number of concrete steps to establish close contacts, both at the governmental level of Bahrain, and with the business community.

He recalled the meetings of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa which took place in Sochi in October 2015 and February 2016. Diplomacy of the highest level has done everything to facilitate cooperation, now it's business, Dmitriyev is sure.

Vladimir Dmitriev noted that Bahrain is a convenient base for building business relations with other countries of the Persian Gulf. In this regard, he considers it necessary to expand the structure of the Council, including representatives of companies, in particular, related to the Russian agro-industrial complex, since the market potential in this area is great.

In addition, the distance from the fertile regions of Russia (the Southern Federal District and the North Caucasus Federal District) to Bahrain is only two hours by air. This opens up great opportunities in the field of trade in meat and other fast-spoiling products. During numerous bilateral negotiations it was also revealed that the representatives of the business of Bahrain are interested in investing in joint ventures in the territory of Russia in the field of agro-industrial complex with the subsequent sale of products both in Bahrain and in the neighboring countries of the Gulf.

In addition to the prospects in agriculture, the North Caucasus Federal District also has a huge tourist potential. During the visit of the delegation of Bahrain in Sochi, the guests were surprised by the developed infrastructure and the level of service. Bahrain businessmen are interested in investing in this sphere.

In addition, according to the Chairman of the Business Council, such areas as cooperation in the field of information technology, supply of supercomputers, grain business, provision of services, etc. deserve attention.

Members, the council gave details of their work. For example, a representative of «Miratorg Agribusiness Holding LLC», engaged in the production of meat products and its export, stated that a trial batch of beef from Russia will be delivered to Bahrain in a week. To develop cooperation with the Kingdom, a logistics chain is being developed.

It was noted that steps are being taken to establish cooperation in the banking sector. However, there are still some legislative obstacles in this area, although Islamic banking is a growing trend in Russia. Especially taking into account the sanctions of Western banks and the need to search for "long" money.

The representative of the Russian Direct Investment Fund informed the Council members about the prospects for investment cooperation with Bahrain on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the RFPI and the Bahrain Investment Fund Mumtalakat, signed April 29, 2014, which provides for 10% of Bahrain's automatic participation in joint projects. Today Bahrain is provided in two projects in the sphere of a retail. Recently the agreement on investment participation of the Kingdom in the project of area of logistic infrastructure was signed. Also Bahrain and Russia actively discuss a cooperation in the field of the computer systems, technologies of identification of the personality and also in medicine.

Summing up the meeting, Vladimir Dmitriev expressed hope that the upcoming trip of Russian businessmen to Bahrain will help strengthen the existing business relationships and will help remove barriers to mutually beneficial cooperation.