UK ambassador stresses strong partnership with Bahrain

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By Fatima Al Najem

Manama, Sept. 3 (BNA): The newly appointed British Ambassador to Bahrain, Roddy Drummond praised the strong relationship between the two kingdoms.
As part of wider cooperation and expanding on what is already a strong relationship, he revealed that there would be focus on finding new opportunities in trade and investments in both directions.
“I know that Bahraini companies are investing in UK, and we’ve got British companies doing the same in here, so we have a two-way thing," he said during a press roundtable with the local press, his first since his appointment in Manama.
By the end of the financial year in March, two-way trade was estimated at £1.1 billion, 75% in goods and 25% in services, and it’s up about 9% up over the previous year.
The ambassador said that there has been a steady growth in trade and investment services for the last five years and that he is working on boosting the commercial opportunities in Bahrain as well as new investments to support the economic development of the kingdom.
The progress achieved in Bahrain in areas including development, ICT was commended by the ambassador.
He also said that he looked forward to more cooperation in areas of education, research, culture and future energy.
Addressing the region’s recent security developments, he confirmed the importance of defense and security cooperation, adding that this was demonstrated by the efforts of the UK and other international allies in the region.
“We depend on the support from the Kingdom of Bahrain to be able to carry out these roles in the region.”
The ambassador added that the Naval Support Facility inaugurated last year by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and His Royal Highness Prince Andrew the Duke of York was pivotal to the UK presence in the region. It is the first naval presence of the UK in the region since 1971.
“We’re very grateful to the Kingdom of for hosting the Naval Support Facility (NSF) which enables us to do much more together with Bahrain and with our other allies in the region.”
“The events of the summer and the need for the UK to respond to different events in the region absolutely proves the case for the change made last year and its enabled us to quickly reinforce, adjust and adapt to events.”