AmCham Bahrain elects new board and officers

AmCham Bahrain elects new board and officers

MANAMA, BAHRAIN: The American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain (AmCham Bahrain) announced the successful election of its Board Officers following its recent election of Board Directors at its virtually held Annual General Meeting.

Commenting on the new appointments, Mr. Qays H. Zu’bi, who was unanimously re-elected for a new 2-year term, stated, “I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve as President for another term. With the support of our members, I am confident that the breadth of expertise and resources within this new dynamic Board will be instrumental in further strengthening AmCham.

We will continue to extend AmCham’s contribution to promoting U.S.-Bahrain’s trade growth, while also promoting the legitimate economic interests of AmCham members.”

In her remarks as distinguished guest speaker, U.S. Charge’d’Affaires Maggie Nardi said: “The U.S. Embassy’s partnership with AmCham is integral to enhancing the economic ties that bind our two countries.

The strength of the U.S.-Bahrain bilateral relationship is built on free trade and shared prosperity, and AmCham plays a pivotal role in promoting new business and investment opportunities for American, Bahraini, and other international companies. I view AmCham as a critical ally in the U.S. government’s effort to support Bahrain’s economy and sustained cooperation between the Embassy and AmCham’s members will deepen the economic ties between Bahrain and the U.S.”

“This year we mark the 15th anniversary of the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement,” stated Mr. Zubi. To mark this milestone, AmCham, in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy, local associations, and other government bodies, will highlight the shared economic success the FTA has allowed.

AmCham shall also support the new government initiatives including the U.S. Free Trade Zone in Bahrain and regional trade normalization, as well as strengthening our strategic collaborations with the AmChams in the MENA region, EDB, and the U.S. Embassy.”

Bilateral trade of goods between Bahrain and the U.S has more than tripled, from $782 million in 2005 to $2.46 billion in 2019.

Mr. Zu’bi elaborated, “The impact of COVID-19 made 2020 a challenging year for global trade and businesses everywhere. Bilateral trade of goods between the U.S. and Bahrain decreased 38% from $2.46 billion in 2019 to $1.52 billion in 2020, but I have faith trade between the U.S. and Bahrain will return to past high levels and increase to new highs going forward.

Despite – and maybe because of – these challenges Amcham Bahrain continued to attract leading global companies including Cigna, Schlumberger, and KPMG, who recognize the value of AmCham’s ability to provide connections, knowledge sharing, and advocacy assistance.”

Mr. Zu’bi stated, “Now with businesses and society adapting to the new normal of COVID-19 precautions, we hope to resume our signature events to include business networking luncheons with VIP speakers, business tours, and topical roundtable discussions while following all safety regulations.”

Mr. Zu’bi went on to highlight AmCham’s objectives for the coming term by explaining “key to our objectives these coming two years is to continue to help our members navigate emerging challenges and opportunities.

To do this, we will launch industry focus groups for our members to identify, discuss and pursue common interests regarding their sector and businesses. These focus groups will strengthen the AmCham community, highlight the collective voice of the American business community, and strengthen how we identify opportunities and resolve challenges facing businesses.”

This newly formed Board is AmCham’s most diverse and representative Board since the organization was formed in 2005. The directors represent all major industry sectors in Bahrain including finance, manufacturing, oil & gas, education, ICT, tourism, real estate development, logistics, communications, legal & professional services.

The Board is evenly balanced between American and Bahraini companies, large multinationals, and SMEs, reflecting AmCham’s mission to increase bilateral trade and commercial opportunities. Additionally, nearly 40% – 6 out of 16 seats – are held by women, and 7 of the 12 elected directors are new to the Board, bringing new energy and ideas to the strong institutional knowledge of returning Directors.

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