America's Roundtable

Ambassador Abdulla Al Khalifa | The U.S. - Bahrain Partnership | U.S. - Bahrain Free Trade Agreement | The Abraham Accords | Strengthening Economic and Security Ties

February 5th, 2022

The Kingdom of Bahrain's Ambassador to the United States, Shaikh Abdulla bin Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa joins America's Roundtable Radio co-hosts Natasha Srdoc and Joel Anand Samy for a conversation on American-Bahraini relations dating back to the late 19th century. Bahrain is a home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, and is a strategic partner in U.S.-led military coalitions, including the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

The U.S-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force in 2006, generating additional commercial opportunities for both countries.

Ambassador Al Khalifa is dedicated to strengthening the longstanding friendship between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United States to drive the two countries’ shared vision for security, prosperity and friendship. He is a steadfast advocate for Bahrainis in the US and an emissary of peace to the American people.

According to Talmudic references, Jews resided in Bahrain since ancient times and Arabic records highlight the co-existence of Arabs and Jews dating back some 1,400 years ago. During the 12 century, Benjamin of Tudela, a medieval Jewish traveler, wrote about Africa, Asia, and Europe, and recounted that Jews were engaged in the local pearl industry.

Bahrain has a population of 1.7 million people, with access to a much larger market within the Gulf Cooperation Council, comprising of estimated over 65 million people, as well as to the Arab League, which totals 407 million people of its member countries, mostly living in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

On Bahrain's economic sphere, a US government report states:

"The banking and finance sector is the largest non-oil contributor to Bahrain’s economy. Bahrain is home to 376 financial institutions and the second largest Islamic finance hub after Malaysia, with over $31.4 billion in assets under management. Aluminum manufacturing accounts for the bulk of Bahrain’s manufacturing sector, and contributes 12 percent of GDP. Aluminum Bahrain (ALBA), the state-owned aluminum smelter, recently became the largest single-site aluminum smelter outside of China with the November 2019 inauguration of its expansion."

For further reading:

Largest Middle Eastern maritime exercise kicks off in Bahrain | February 1, 2022

"The biggest maritime exercise in the Middle East and the largest-scale unmanned maritime exercise in the world kicked off on January 31 during a ceremony at the US Navy’s 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain, the North American force said in a statement on Monday. 9,000 personnel and up to 50 ships from 60 countries and international organizations and more than 80 unmanned systems from 10 countries are participating in the 18 day event."


Reuters: MOU to establish an American trade zone in Bahrain | BNA

CAIRO (Reuters) - Bahraini minister of industry, commerce and tourism and the U.S. secretary of commerce signed on Tuesday a MOU to establish an American trade zone in Bahrain to boost U.S.-Bahraini trade, the Bahraini state news agency reported.


Indian Express: US designates UAE, Bahrain as ‘major strategic partners’

“Today’s decision demonstrates a new level of partnership between the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom Bahrain, and represents an enduring commitment to economic and security cooperation. It also reflects their extraordinary courage, determination, and leadership in entering into the Abraham Accords,” the press secretary said.

Bahrain USA | Transforming Tomorrow, Together
"For over 100 years, Bahrain has been a strategic and steadfast ally to the USA – and a friend to Americans – in the heart of the Arabian Gulf. Through economic trade, cultural exchange, security cooperation, and diplomatic ties, we are strengthening our partnership. Together we are creating a more peaceful, more stable, and more prosperous future."

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America's Roundtable is co-hosted by Natasha Srdoc and Joel Anand Samy, co-founders of International Leaders Summit and the Jerusalem Leaders Summit.

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