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Global Investors Seek Opportunities in Xiamen
This year's China International Fair for Investment and Trade is featuring some 30-thousand programs the private sector will be able to take part in.

Most of them are connected to the government's Silk Road initiative.

As the guest country of honor at the fair in Xiamen, Bahrain has been trying to promote investment projects in areas such as finance, logistics and manufacturing.

Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of Bahrain's Economic Development Board, says his country, once an important harbor on the ancient Silk Road, is an ideal gateway to the Gulf region.

"If you look at the GCC, the Gulf economy, this is a 1.6-trillion-dollar economy, expected to grow to 2 trillion dollars by 2020. And behind would be an ideal geographic location for the 'One Belt, One Road' policy, for access to that 2-trillion market in 2020."

Bahraini Minister of Industry and Commerce, Zayed Alzayani, says they're actively looking for Chinese investment in their Kingdom.

"We are looking forward to attracting more investment from China. We want to take this relationship a step further beyond trade and to joint venture and joint investment in Bahrain from China. We're here to exhibit to China what Bahrain offers and would like to invite Chinese companies to be hosted in Bahrain and serve the wide GCC market from Bahrain."

A new World Investment Report has been released by the United Nations on the sidelines of the event in Xiamen.

It shows foreign direct investment inflows into Asia increased by nearly 9 percent to almost 500 billion US dollars last year.

This is in sharp contrast to a combined 16-percent decline worldwide through 2014.

Zhan Xiaoning with the UN Conference on Trade and Development says they believe part of this is due to the creation of the Silk Road initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

"The Great Mekong Sub-region Cooperation Program as well as China-proposed Silk Road initiative and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which are designed to create better interconnectivity and economic integration in Asia, have attracted a growing number of investments from other parts of the world."

The fair in Xiamen this year has drawn some big names to the International Investment Forum which takes place every year at the event.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma is among them.

He is suggesting existing institutions should be transformed to meet the changes in the way companies do business.

"Many people have been familiar with the Internet Plus concept. But how do we increase our productivity significantly? In my opinion, the World Trade Organization should be built into a big-data platform, rather than an inter-government mechanism. The platform will provide numerous services like cross-border payment and logistics so as to boost free trade."

The investment and trade fair in Xiamen is expected to attract over 50-thousand visitors before it ends this coming Thursday. 

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