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Bahrain: Bilateral Relations to Germany Bahrain

17.01.2019 - Article

Political relations

Relations between Germany and Bahrain are good and Germany is held in high regard in Bahrain. High points in bilateral relations have been King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s official visit to Berlin in late October 2008 and the return visit to Bahrain by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in May 2010, as well as the visit to Bahrain in April 2010 by the then President of the German Bundestag, Norbert Lammert. Defence Minister von der Leyen met Crown Prince Salman in October 2018 when she took part in the Manama Dialogue. In 2018, Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Al Khalifa participated once more in the Munich Security Conference.

Bilateral cooperation focuses on promoting the rule of law and parliamentary exchange. German Bundestag Vice-President Claudia Roth held talks in Bahrain in March 2014. In early June 2015, the Chairman of the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee of Bahrain’s elected chamber of Parliament, the Council of Representatives, attended the Fourth International Conference of Parliamentary Committees on Legal Affairs in Berlin at the invitation of the German Bundestag and the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ). At the start of 2017, a delegation headed by former Federal Minister Peter Ramsauer from the German Bundestag Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy visited Bahrain.

Economic relations

Germany enjoys a good reputation in Bahrain as a reliable trading partner. The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries rose significantly in 2017 to 484.7 million euros (from 367.9 million euros the previous year). Germany is thus Bahrain’s third most important business partner in the European Union. Germany’s positive image in the country is largely founded on its highly competitive industrial and technology sectors, in which Bahrain shows a keen interest. On the German side, small and medium-sized companies in particular are taking advantage of the good investment climate in Bahrain. At present, around 50 German companies have offices in Bahrain or are engaged in projects in the country. In early April 2016 a cross-sectoral business delegation from the Euro-Mediterranean-Arab Association (EMA), headed by former Federal President Christian Wulff, visited Bahrain. There are approximately 500 German nationals living in Bahrain.

An investment promotion and protection agreement was signed in February 2007 and entered into force in late May 2010.

Cultural exchange

In the cultural sector, the regional office of the Goethe-Institut (GI), located in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, has been responsible for Bahrain since 2006. The German Embassy in Bahrain is seeking to intensify cooperation in the areas of culture, education as well as scientific and academic policy. Since 2009, it has also organised language courses that prepare students for GI examinations. What is more, the publicly funded University of Bahrain offers German instruction.

In 2013, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain co-founded the first bilateral Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA), with a view to promoting collaboration between outstanding young Arab and German scientists and academics as well as interdisciplinary research projects. For language and cultural reasons, Anglo-American countries are Bahraini students’ preferred foreign study destinations. That makes existing academic contacts with Germany, for example in the renewable energy sector, all the more valuable.

Disclaimer: 
This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.

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