A series of meetings were held an effort to normalize relations between the countries
Manama: Following a personal invitation from Bahrain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism – HE Zayed bin Rashid Alzayani, a delegation of prominent Israeli businessmen, headed by Leumi’s Chairman Dr. Samer Haj Yehia, and President & CEO Hanan Friedman, paid an official visit to Bahrain earlier this week.
The visit followed His Excellency’s trip to Israel last December, where he met with the Chairman of Leumi, with the aim of promoting business collaborations between the two countries.
The delegation was limited to some 20 senior participants in line with safety measures due to the current health challenges posed by COVID-19.
During their visit, the Chairman and President & CEO of Leumi, as well as notable Israeli businessmen, held a number of meetings with senior Bahraini government officials as well prominent figures from the financial and business industry in the Kingdom, including:
- Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Undersecretary Ms. Eman AlDoseri; Shaikh Hamad bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Assistance Undersecretary for Domestic and Foreign Trade; Nibras Mohammed Ali Talib, Undersecretary for Industrial Development; Mr. Bader Alsaad, Commercial Registrations Director
- Mr. Jean-Christophe Durand, CEO of National Bank of Bahrain (NBB)
- Shaikh Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, CEO of Bahrain Bourse
- Mohammed Bin Mahfoodh Alardhi, Executive Chairman of leading holding company Investcorp
- Dr.AbdulRahman Saif, Group Chief Executive, Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK)
The meetings will lead to the signing of cooperation agreements and memoranda of understanding, following a memorandum signed by Leumi and the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) earlier this year, as well as with leading banks in the UAE in 2020.
Upon the departure of the delegation from Israel, Leumi Chairman, Dr. Samer Haj Yehia, said: “The delegation’s visit will enable the continued implementation – in practice – of the peace agreement signed between Israel and Bahrain, boosting the relations between people and businesses by driving and deepening business collaborations in the areas of finance, technology, health, tourism, agriculture, water, energy, and industry; for peace is made between nations and people, rather than only between governments.”
Leumi is one of the largest banks in the Middle East and is the first and leading bank in Israel, providing banking services to households, businesses, fund transfers, securities trade, and financing investments in local and international companies and startups, including fintech.