Bahrain Bay Barter

Talks are in underway between investors from China and Qatar, along with Bahrain Bay Development (BBD). Discussions are underway about the possibility of the company making land available for purchase in BBD’s $2.5b Bahrain Bay property project in Manama. Apparently, already 65 percent of land plots have been sold and now “investors [are] eyeing the remaining 35 percent.” BBD is in talks with Bahraini and Chinese investors too. At the end of this year, the rest of the land will probably be sold “on hopes that market conditions will be better.” The project is in the north of the capital of Bahrain.

It seems like the land is not going to be lying dormant for all that long. BBD has plans to sell it all within “the next two or three years at most.” Land sales only went on hold a few years ago in the “wake of the global financial crisis.” As well, there is currently a bid by eight firms which want the contract to construct the Four Seasons Bahrain Hotel, for $350m.

Also included in the Bahrain Bay development is a trade center Arcapita Bank’s building and a project from Singapore’s CapitaLand. Around 95 percent of the infrastructure for the project has already been completed and the rest will be done by August.

Asian Political Troubles

Political troubles in the region don’t fare well for business. That’s exactly what has been happening in the Gulf Arab island kingdom, which was “wracked by political violence, inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.” There has also been substantial stress due to the “economic downturn,” but irrespective of this, Bob Vincent, the CEO of BBD insisted the Bahrain Bay project would be “moving forward as planned.”

Armenian Investment is Working

Increased Investment Opportunities for Armenia

Good news for Armenian investments. According to the country’s parliament chairman, Hovik Abrahamian, attempts are being made to push for investments in the transport and energy sectors throughout the BSEC countries.* As well, the greater cohesion between BSEC member countries, the better for all, especially since this is the current goal of the National Assembly of Armenia. This is bound to lead to an increase in investment opportunities for the country.

Armenia Develops Iranian Energy Cooperation

When Armenia attempts to work with Iran, according to Armen Movisyan (the former country’s Energy Minister), around 80 percent of cooperation between the two countries comes from the energy sector, at an estimated volume of $450 million. If a third transmission is built and a hydroelectric power plant on Araks River, this will further connect the two countries which could also ultimately lead to the goal of establishing a “North – South” transport corridor.

Armenia and Energy Security

According to Sevak Sarukhanyan (Armenia’s Deputy Director of Noravank Foundation), “energy security is the most important issue for Armenia, as the country was probably the first state in CIS and the post-Soviet area to be hit by a severe energy crisis.” The two factors that basically led to this crisis were the closing of the Metasmor nuclear power plant in the late 1980s and the shifting of the country’s energy production to thermal power plants utilizing natural gas and fuel oil.

So it does seem today that there is much work to be done in terms of political and economic cohesion between Armenia and other BSEC countries, as well as Iran. At the end of the day – political affiliations and aspirations aside – most countries want the best for their citizens and that usually means working with neighboring countries to acquiesce the best investments.

*Established in 1992, the BSEC comprises Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine with Austria, Germany, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Tunisia, France, the Confederation of European Energy Charter and the International Black Sea having observer status.