'We’d like to learn more from Israel'

Bahraini Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, who visited Israel, tells i24NEWS: The impact is global.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Bahraini Minister of Commerce with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi
Bahraini Minister of Commerce with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi
Shlomi Amsalem, Foreign Ministry spokesperson

Bahraini Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani spoke to i24NEWS on Thursday during his official visit to Israel, saying that “the impact is global.”

"I think what fascinated us most looking at Israel is how quickly the economy grew here and how the GDP grew and how it’s primarily driven by innovation and technology,” he said, adding, “We’d like to learn more from the Israeli private sector.”

“Unfortunately, I haven’t had time on my schedule to be a tourist,” continued Al-Zayani, who expressed a desire to visit Jerusalem and “give it its true worth as purely a tourist.” He noted that this will be an attraction for Bahraini tourists.

“It is a spiritual city. You can feel it in the air and it’s a city I would like to go visit and give it its true worth as purely a tourist,” he told i24NEWS.

Al-Zayani, who is also the chairman of the national carrier Gulf Air, said the company received many inquiries into a “direct route” between Manama and Tel Aviv. Travel agents, he said, wanted to know “how they can set up, how they can promote Bahrain.”

“The big stuff will come, and it will come big once it arrives,” he stressed.

During his visit to Israel, Al-Zayani announced that his country would not distinguish between products coming from Judea and Samaria and the rest of Israel.

Bahrain intends to import products made in Israel, but there is no desire to enter the minefield of labels and borders, he explained.

On Wednesday, Al-Zayani and Minister of Tourism Orit Farkash-Hacohen signed a historic MOU in the field of tourism.

The MOU is the first of its kind between Israel and the Arab states in the Gulf. It includes a number of sections on bilateral cooperation between the governments and the private sector in the field of tourism, and calls to develop various types of travel: for families, wellness, business, and others.

Additionally, the MOU establishes a joined committee headed by the Ministers, which will meet regularly to promote joined ventures among travel agents, airlines, tour operators, and all relevant industry representative.

According to a Reuters report, Israel expects its trade with Bahrain to be worth about $220 million in 2021, even before the defense and tourism deals between the two countries are considered.