The benefits of doing business in the “gateway” to the Gulf have been highlighted at the first Bahrain Opportunities Forum in London.
The event was held in the Palace of Westminster and hosted by the Diplomat Business Club, a UK-based networking forum that connects diplomats, business leaders, and other prominent figures, in association with Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).
The club is an initiative of former Pakistani Ambassador to Bahrain, Javed Malik, who is its current President. Founded three years ago, it has active chapters in various countries, and launched its Bahrain chapter last year. 
Speaking about the forum, Mr Malik said:
“The Diplomat Business Club is a global network of distinguished individuals and organisations for conducting high-profile seminars, conferences, and summits in the UK, Europe, Gulf, and other countries around the world.
We are delighted to associate with the EDB in organising the first Bahrain Opportunities Forum in London, which aims to highlight business, trade, and investment opportunities in Bahrain.”
He added that, under the visionary leadership of His Majesty King Hamad, Bahrain has positioned itself as a hub of business and trade which provides a gateway to the GCC and the wider region.
“The business-friendly policies of the government have created a favourable environment for international companies to base themselves in Bahrain and do business in the region,” said Mr Malik.
EDB chief executive Khalid Al Rumaihi delivered a keynote speech at the forum, which was also attended by BCCI chairman Sameer Nass, and co-chaired by MP Andrew Rosindell, a member of the UK Government’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
Among those attending the event were an MP from Kosovo, Italian business leaders, and a representative of the Government of the Isle of Man.
Mr Malik, who has been Chair of the International Diplomat magazine since 2009, said:
“The EDB is doing a wonderful job in promoting Bahrain and the club looks forward to working closely with the board. The participation of the BCCI, led by Mr Nass, was very positive, as it ensures the presence of the business community, enabling business-to-business links between Bahrain, the UK, and Europe.”
The next meeting of the forum will be held in Bahrain in the last quarter of 2018, and further meetings will take place biannually – one in Bahrain and the other in a different host country. It is understood that Germany or an Asian country is next in line to host.
“While one session will be held in another country, the main session will always be held in Bahrain so that the international business community can be further attracted to the kingdom,” added Mr Malik.