Message from the Ambassador

The new publication of the Bahraini French Business Club‘s directory gives me the opportunity to congratulate the club for its role and its involvement in the promotion of the French-Bahraini trade. I’m very pleased that this occasion allows me to extend my warmest thanks to the members of the CAFB, who are so active and so dedicated to developing the commercial and financial presence of French companies in Bahrain. I make a special mention to the newly elected committee under the chairmanship of Mr. Rodolphe MELKI.

The club is an important asset of the French presence in the Kingdom and I am well aware of the prominent role that it has played in the organisation of the French Week in November 2011. The success of this event has shown that there was an interest for France in Bahrain, but it must be remembered that this success was primarily up to the Club’s commitment, competence and networking capabilities.

This new publication also gives me the opportunity to recall some facts relating to the French economical presence in Bahrain. It is worth reminding about a fact few people know of, that France is the 1st OECD investor in the Kingdom, mainly (but not only) in the field of infrastructures (particularly water and energy projects), finance and insurance, retail with the presence of two among the major actors, and hospitality with three prestigious
hotels managed by the Accor Group.

Let me first mention the presence of GDF Suez in three generation plants, two of them also producing water, for a global investment of above 1.5 billion US$; and I would also like to note that Vinci Construction Grands Projets (VCGP), which has made the studies and design of the mega project of the road and railway Causeway Qatar – Bahrain, is now awaiting the decision to start with the construction. Regarding future projects, one of the more promising at this time is being led by CNIM, regarding the construction as a BOT of an incineration of domestic waste plant, including

a process of energy generation. As for the bilateral trade between France and Bahrain, it has flourished over a 10 year period of continuous growth between 2000 and 2010 and after a short recess in 2011,today (as of 31/12/2012) it stands at over 1 billion euros (600 MEUR of French exports to Bahrain and 400 MEUR Bahraini exports to France). France exports mainly strong added value products (agro-food and capital goods), and imports essentially refined oil products and products from the aluminium sector. An important part of our exports is linked to the aviation industry, with the furnishings of Airbus airplanes.

We hope that 2013 will see the signing of new and important contracts for our companies, and I know for sure that the Club will continue, as best as it has always done, to bring such valuable support to the business community and to the French embassy.

I would like to add that the CAFB, besides its valuable role as a commercial support and adviser, is also a very friendly group that organises monthly dinners which are great occasions to meet interesting people and to hear high profile lecturers and speakers, in a very friendly atmosphere, which is not the least of its merits!

And last but not least I seize this opportunity to express my deepest support to the project of creation of a bilateral chamber of commerce and industry which has been initiated by this Embassy, and fully endorsed by the CAFB.

So, long life and all success to the Bahraini French Business Club! And to the future Franco Bahraini Chamber of Commerce and Industry!

- HE Christian TESTOT

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