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Cablegate: Deputy Secretary Kimmitt, Commerce Minister

VZCZCXRO0983
PP RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHMK #1103 3471349
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 131349Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7492
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 001103

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

COMMERCE FOR 4520/ITA/MAC/ONE/HOFFMAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/13/2017
TAGS: EINV EFIN ECON BA
SUBJECT: DEPUTY SECRETARY KIMMITT, COMMERCE MINISTER
DISCUSS U.S.-GCC INVESTMENT FORUM Classified By: Ambassador Adam Ereli, reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

------- SUMMARY -------

1.(C) Minister of Industry and Commerce Hassan Fakhro told Treasury DepSec Kimmitt he was pleased with the U.S. turnout for the U.S.-GCC Investment Forum. Both officials agreed that it would be advantageous to establish the Forum as an annual event and exchanged thoughts on pursuing this goal. End Summary. ---------------------- "FINGERSPITZENGEFUEHL" ----------------------

2.(C) Fakhro told Treasury DepSec Kimmitt December 5 that he was delighted by the strong U.S. attendance of the December 4-6 U.S.-GCC Investment Forum. (Note: The Forum was jointly sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Arab Bankers Association of North America and brought some 150 U.S. business executives to Bahrain to explore regional investment opportunities. End Note.) With the attendance of so many U.S. investors, his goal in hosting this event had been realized.

3.(C) DepSec Kimmitt said that the U.S.-GCC Investment Forum was particularly valuable for providing what the Germans call "Fingerspitzengefuehl" (a finger-tip feel) to U.S. investors. There was no substitute for face-to-face interaction.

4.(C) He recommended that Bahrain take a page from the World Economic Forum's book and seize the opportunity to establish the U.S.-GCC Investment Forum as an annual destination event that would serve as the premiere investment dialogue in the region. "There is no region in the world where a dialogue on investment is more important," said Kimmitt. He added that next year's forum could focus on small and medium-sized enterprises. Bankers and private equity officials would be force multipliers and should also be encouraged to attend.

5.(C) Fakhro noted that the various GCC cooperation committees met twice yearly. One of the GCC Cooperation Committee on Trade's semi-annual meetings could be set to occur back-to-back with an annual GCC investment dialogue with a fixed venue in Bahrain.

6.(C) Kimmitt said that it would also be useful to invite Members of Congress with relevant committee and/or geographic associations to participate in the Forum. Legislators with Bahraini and other GCC investments in their districts could be important trade advocates. Kimmitt added, "From a U.S. perspective, we have a particular stake where we have FTA's We want to be able to point to success."

7.(U) DepSec Kimmitt has cleared this message. ********************************************* ******** Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX********************************************* ******** ERELI

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