Bahrain seeks to secure foodstuff needs

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BAHRAIN SEEKS TO SECURE FOODSTUFF NEEDS

29 05 2008

MANAMA, MAY. 29 (BNA) --MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE DR. HASSAN BIN
ABDULLAH FAKHRO POINTED OUT TODAY TO THE EXISTING PROMISING CHANCES TO
BOOST COOPERATION BETWEEN BAHRAIN AND BOTH THAILAND AND THE
PHILIPPINES.

THESE OPPORTUNITIES WERE EXPLORED BY THE BAHRAINI DELEGATIONS RECENT VISIT TO THESE TWO COUNTRIES WHERE THEY REVIEWED THE POTENTIAL OF ESTABLISHING JOINT VENTURES LED BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN THE AGRICULTURAL FIELDS WITH THE AIM OF ENSURING BAHRAINS FOODSTUFF NEEDS, MAINLY RICE OF WHICH BAHRAINS ANNUAL CONSUMPTION IS ABOUT 43,000
TONS AT A COST OF BD 1,700,000.

IN A PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY, FAKHRO HIGHLIGHTED THE MAIN OUTCOME OF HIS VISIT TO THE FAR EAST, ASSERTING THAT HE RECEIVED PLEDGES FROM THAI AND FILIPINO OFFICIALS TO PROVIDE BAHRAIN WITH THE NEEDED FOOD PRODUCTS.

FAKHRO REVEALED THAT A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH ONE OF THE
MEGA FOOD-EXPORTING COMPANIES IN THAILAND WAS SIGNED TO SUPPLY BAHRAIN
WITH THE NEEDED QUANTITIES OF RICE AND OTHER FOOD PRODUCTS AT STABLE PRICES.

AN AGREEMENT WAS ALSO REACHED WITH OFFICIALS IN THE PHILIPPINES TO ALLOCATE LARGE PLOTS OF LAND TO GROW BASMATI RICE IN A BID TO SECURE THE
KINGDOMS NEEDS FOR SUCH A PRODUCT AT REASONABLE PRICES, DR FAKHRO ADDED.

MANY FINANCING HOUSES SHOWED INTEREST TO BUY FARMS IN THE PHILIPPINES TO MEET BAHRAINS NEEDS, LAUDING THE COOPERATION OF BAHRAINI BUSINESSMAN IBRAHIM AL AMEER THANKS TO HIS 20-YEAR COMMERCIAL AND AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE WITH FAR EASTERN COUNTRIES.

AL AMEER OWNS BANANAS AND PINEAPPLE FARMS IN THE PHILIPPINES, DR FAKHRO SAID.

FAKHRO SAID AT THE CONFERENCE THAT HE HAD DISCUSSED IN THE PHILIPPINES THE POSSIBILITY OF IMPORTING AND MARKETING ONE OF THE BEST TYPES OF RICE PRODUCED BY THE FAR EAST, ESPECIALLY THE PHILIPPINES AND THAILAND.

HE ALSO DISCUSSED ALLOCATING BARNS IN THE PHILIPPINES FOR LIVESTOCK IMPORTS TO BE LATER EXPORTED TO BAHRAIN AS READY PRODUCTS.

DISCUSSIONS ALSO FOCUSED ON COOPERATION IN VARIOUS OTHER COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL AND CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS FIELDS, HE NOTED.

FAKHRO POINTED OUT TO THE BAHRAINI DELEGATIONS VISIT TO THE FOODSTUFF EXPO IN THAILAND AND THE PHILIPPINES AND TO THE SERIES OF MEETINGS HE HELD WITH SENIOR OFFICIALS, EXPORTERS, FARMERS AND TRADESMEN FROM BOTH COUNTRIES TO ENSURE FOOD SECURITY TO BAHRAIN.

HE ALSO SAID THAT A NUMBER OF INITIATIVES HAD BEEN PROPOSED DURING THE GCC COMMERCE MINISTERS MEETING HELD IN DOHA RECENTLY DURING WHICH A
DECISION TO SET UP A GCC COMPANY TO FUND RICE AND OTHER FOODSTUFF AS A STEP TO OVERCOME SHORTAGE OF THIS COMMODITY IN THE REGION WAS REACHED.

THE POSITIVE OUTCOME OF THE MEETINGS BETWEEN BAHRAIN AND THAI AND PHILIPPINE SENIOR OFFICIALS WERE THE RESULT OF STRONG HISTORICAL
POLITICAL TIES BINDING THE COUNTRIES WHICH WERE FURTHER PROMOTED BY PRIME MINISTER SHAIKH KHALIFA BIN SALMAN AL KHALIFA.

Original source: BNA
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