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Cablegate: Bahrain: Bfif Fy07 Proposal

VZCZCXRO4677
PP RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHMK #0169/01 0531330
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 221330Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6454
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 1300
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANAMA 000169

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

EB/CBA FOR DENNIS WINSTEAD, NEA/ARPI
COMMERCE FOR TYLER HOFFMAN AND TOM SAMS
ABU DHABI FOR FCS CHRISTIAN REED

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BEXP ABUD AMGT BTIO ECON EINV ETRD BA
SUBJECT: BAHRAIN: BFIF FY07 PROPOSAL

REF: 06 STATE 189849

-------------------
Commercial Strategy
-------------------

1. Embassy Manama welcomes EB's offer to provide BFIF
funding to enhance commercial advocacy efforts. In view of
the August 2006 implementation of the U.S. - Bahrain Free
Trade Agreement (FTA), Post emphasizes the importance of
commercial training, providing commercial services to
businesses seeking to capitalize on trade opportunities
presented by the FTA, outreach to businesses on FTA
opportunities, increasing U.S. investor awareness and
confidence, and supporting the enhanced effectiveness of the
AmCham. As a non-CS post, Embassy Manama would utilize FY07
Business Facilitation Incentive Funds in a "shadow" training
project with Embassy Amman colleagues, production of an
informational Free Trade Agreement booklet, and office
equipment to support the fledgling local AmCham. The
estimated BFIF expenditures for FY07 are $7,250.

-------------------
Commercial Training
-------------------

2. The Econ/Commercial Officer would travel to Jordan to
shadow Embassy Amman FCS staff over a three-day period. The
objective of such training is for the Econ/Commercial Officer
to study the best practices of Commercial personnel
experienced in administering Free Trade Agreement-related
commercial services, with the goal of replicating these
practices at Embassy Manama. This project would also tend to
strengthen coordination with regional colleagues, and
generally enhance commercial plans and strategies for Bahrain
in FY07-08.

3. The benefits of this proposal would likely accrue to other
regional posts as well. Embassy Manama already serves as an
informational and advisory resource for other Posts in the
Gulf whose host nations are at varying stages of negotiating
or implementing Free Trade Agreements with the U.S. As the
USG proceeds toward the attainment of a Middle East Free
Trade Area by 2013, the need for the USG foreign affairs
community to develop and refine FTA implementation practices
will grow. This project will support the development of
effective FTA implementation practices. Post point of
contact is Steve Simpson, Economic/Commercial Officer, tel.
973 1724-2986, fax. 973 1727-3011, and email:
simpsonsc@state.gov. Total estimated cost for travel,
lodging and MI&E is $2500.

-------------------------
Production of FTA Booklet
-------------------------

4. Post Econ/Commercial office would commission the
production of a booklet on the FTA. It would be available
for electronic distribution as well. Both American and
Bahraini business officials agree there is a continuing lack
of understanding when it comes to the benefits of the FTA and
how to best capitalize on the opportunities it presents.
With Department of Commerce input on the content, Post would
like to produce a booklet to bridge this knowledge gap. Post
point of contact is Steve Simpson, Economic/Commercial
Officer, tel. 973 1724-2986, fax. 973 1727-3011, and email:
simpsonsc@state.gov. The total estimated production cost for
1500 copies is $2000.

------------------------------------------
Computer Equipment and Software for AmCham
------------------------------------------

5. Post donated a laptop and printer under a previous BFIF
grant and AmCham staff report that they are putting it to
good use, relying on it heavily for off-site events.
However, AmCham personnel have recently noted that the
performance of the existing laptop has declined. In
addition, the AmCham has recently hired an Assistant
Administrator who could make productive use of additional
computer equipment. The local AmCham is a growing
organization and is also a natural recipient of increasing
attention due to the recently-implemented FTA. Post seeks to
improve the AmCham's office computing resources and requests
allocation of $2,000 for a new laptop computer and an
additional $750 for appropriate business software and a
firewall/antivirus security suite. Post point of contact is

MANAMA 00000169 002 OF 002


Steve Simpson, Economic/Commercial Officer, tel. 973
1724-2986, fax. 973 1727-3011, and email:
simpsonsc@state.gov. Total estimated cost is $2,750.


********************************************* ********
Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/manama/
********************************************* ********
MONROE

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