The Bahrain Economic Development Board (BEDB) and the Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corporation (MPRC) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for further development of cooperation in the oil and gas sectors.
The MoU was signed on the side lines of a business forum hosted by MPRC in conjunction with Offshore Technology Conference Asia 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, according to a press release.
Ms Dharmi Magdani, country head of the BEDB's India office which covers the Asia region, addressed the forum on the many business opportunities available to Malaysian companies in Bahrain, and on the importance of knowledge sharing and promoting cooperation between industry leaders.
"The GCC region is renowned globally for its oil and gas industry. Bahrain was the first country in the Gulf to discover oil, as well as successfully drill and exploit this resource commercially and today we have a thriving downstream industry," the press release quoted Ms Magdani as telling the forum.
"This agreement will enable us to share our knowledge and experience with the MPRC and drive investment and development in this sector and afford us the chance to raise awareness of the many competitive advantages that Bahrain can offer Malaysian businesses looking to access the GCC region's lucrative $1.6 trillion market, she further said.
Datuk Shahrol Halmi, President and CEO of the MPRC, also commented on the announcement: "Our mission is to facilitate market expansion, as well as increase competitiveness and innovation in Malaysia's oil and gas services and equipment industry."
Bahrain and Malaysia have a history of firm bilateral relations and engagement on a variety of economic and strategic fronts. In addition to manufacturing and oil and gas, both countries are leaders and innovators in Islamic finance and rapid growth has prompted closer ties in this sector.
A number of Malaysian financial institutions such as CIMB and Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank) have offices in Bahrain, and in 2012, Bahrain's investment arm, Mumtalakat Holding Company, raised around $1 billion in an Islamic bond issue on the Bursa Malaysia.