During our February 16 webinar "Cross-Border Business Development; Palm Beach & Bahrain" we were honored to have so many diplomats and professionals speak about the evolving relationship between the business and educational communities of Palm Beach and Bahrain, including Mary McGinnis, Executive Director Business Development, from the American Chamber of Commerce - Bahrain.
Thank you, Al. Thank you. I'm pleased to be here and to represent AmCham. I'm going to talk about AmCham itself.
There are some other excellent representatives of Bahrain and the economy coming up with the Economic Development Board following this. So AmCham has worked to promote commerce, investment and goodwill between its membership United States and the Kingdom of Bahrain since 2006. We're an independent, nonprofit, member led trade association comprised of a diverse group of over 250 members representing Fortune 500 corporations, small and medium sized companies, and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs. There are about 200 registered US companies in Bahrain and they are well represented as leaders throughout the diversified economy. A few examples the regional headquarters for American Express, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase, as well as a successful new fintech startup, Rain, representative of the very well developed financial sector industry.
The ICT sector is strong and growing in Bahrain and Amazon Web services. AWS recently established its first Nina Region Hyperscale Data Center, which is greatly accelerated cloud computing. Bahrain is an excellent logistics hub for the region, as Maggie was saying, and FedEx and UPS are among the many companies providing swift and efficient logistics services. Mondelez manufacturers, Oreo cookies and Tang for the regional market, and West Point Home manufacturers Home Textiles for premium brands like Ralph Lauren for a US market. All of these companies are leveraging the benefits of the US Bahrain Free Trade Agreement.
Tourism, real estate, education, healthcare, and professional services are other strong and growing sectors with strong American companies represented. Bahrain is also the home to the headquarters of the US Navy Fifth Fleet and the US Naval Central Command. With about 8500 personnel stationed here. The presence contributes over $1.2 billion to the local economy annually, which provides unique business opportunities and ensures security for Bahrain and the region. We have an excellent relationship in collaboration with the US Embassy and the Bahrain Economic Board.
Each hold an honorary seat on the AmCham board, facilitating a productive relationship to support trade and investment. AmCham is also an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC and a member of the global network of over 120 AmChams, as well as an active member of AmCham, Nina and the GCC. These affiliations give our members an important reach into the $1.5 trillion regional markets. AmCham provides a unique platform through which executives come together to discuss issues impacting business operations. Business to business introductions, government advocacy, knowledge sharing and networking programs, and customized business services are just a few of the many benefits AmCham provides to its members and the business community.
We host about three events per month and these include bimonthly business networking lunches with high level government and business leaders speaking on topics of interest to the business community.
AmCham Bahrain provides access to decision makers and information that facilitates trade and making important decisions. We also hold regular seminars both virtual and in person to help businesses know how to leverage the FTA and develop best practices for succeeding in the region. We do business tours that allow our members to understand and see behind the signage how businesses work here and the amazing array of industries. We also do an annual US alumni reception. Many Bahraini government and business leaders studied in the US and hold very fond and warm feelings towards America.
So we are very excited about this delegation in America and its members look forward to welcoming the Palm Beach delegation to Bahrain in late March and we are available to assist in any way before then.
— Mary McGinnis
American Chamber of Commerce - Bahrain, Executive Director Business Development