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Cablegate: Minister Saif Ready to Launch Fta Road Show

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS MANAMA 001386

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/ARPI
DEPT PASS USTR JBUNTIN, CMILLER, WCLATANOFF
COMMERCE FOR CLOUSTAUNAU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD PREL BA
SUBJECT: MINISTER SAIF READY TO LAUNCH FTA ROAD SHOW


1. (U) The Ambassador met with Minister of Finance and
National Economy Abdullah Hassan Saif September 7 to discuss
the upcoming signing of the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement
(FTA) and the October 1 meeting of finance ministers on the
G8 Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) initiative
(septel). Saif praised the efforts of FTA negotiators on
both sides for the rapid conclusion of the agreement. He
also noted the significance of the groundwork laid after the
signing of the 1999 TIFA Agreement and the importance of
having kept both business sectors engaged in the process.

2. (U) Saif reviewed his travel plans, starting in Washington
for the September 14 signing ceremony followed by the first
FTA "road show" which he will lead on September 22 in New
York. This will be the first of several events that Saif
will host in the U.S. in the coming year to promote the FTA
and the benefits of doing business in Bahrain. The New York
event will focus on the finance and banking sector but will
also include a larger event targeting a variety of
medium-sized enterprises. The GOB expects to focus its next
road show on Chicago.

3. (U) The Ambassador responded that the Embassy was also
gearing up for the implementation phase and was looking for
opportunities to work with the GOB to promote the FTA and the
increased business opportunities it offers. Saif noted that
he welcomed the return of MEPI-funded consultants performing
a sectoral analysis of the Bahraini economy to help guide the
FTA implementation.
MONROE

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