KUALA LUMPUR : Bahrain welcomes Malaysia’s strong interest in the island country’s construction industry, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) said. This was attested by Bahrain’s Minister of Housing Bassim Yaqoub Al- Hamr during MATRADE’s Export Acceleration Mission for the Services Sector to the kingdom from December 9 to 13. Bassim looks forwards to forging partnership with Malaysia by fostering closer engagement between the government of both countries. He also invited Malaysian companies to form partnerships with Bahraini developers to undertake government-related projects, especially public housing in the kingdom, MATRADE, the national trade promotion agency said in a statement Thursday. The mission was led by MATRADE Deputy Chief Executive Officer Wan Latiff Wan Musa. MATRADE said Bahrain’s construction industry has a strong focus on transportation and industrial infrastructure, as well as the construction of tens of thousands of affordable housing units.

“These developments are expected to be among the key drivers of growth for the sector in the near future, with much of this coming from government-backed projects,” it said. MATRADE said Bahraini strong real estate growth continued with a number of residential, commercial and hospitality developments coming on stream into the new year 2019 and onwards. “Malaysian construction companies are well qualified and highly experienced. This will serve as strong credentials to be given the opportunity to participate in the construction of social housing projects in Bahrain,” it said.

MATRADE said the mission also attended roundtable meetings with Bahraini companies and held meetings with key organisations such as the Ministry of Housing, Bahrain Economic Development Board, Urban Planning and Development Authority, Bahrain Society of Engineers, and Bahrain ASEAN Business Council.

“Some of the key projects under discussion were an immediate parcel of 400 of 3,300 housing units in a township in West Manama,” it said.

It added that the Bahraini government planned to build 40,000 public housing units throughout the country during the 2015-2020 period.

The MATRADE delegation also attended the fifth Arab Housing Conference on Dec 11 and 12 involving 21 Arab countries where Malaysia was the only non-Arab country taking part. It dwelled on policy initiatives for public housing in the Arab World.