Our growth ambitions in the region started with the creation of the BNP Paribas GCC regional hub in Bahrain in 2001, he said. Since then, the Bank has registered well- sustained revenue growth and its total number of employees in Bahrain has trebled. This increase is linked to our geographic expansion in the region and the relocation of several business line specialists from Head Office to the Kingdom of Bahrain. The successful development has highlighted the GCC region on the BNP Paribas worldwide map, showing it to be among the strategic regions for the Group.

During 2010 and 2011, the Kingdom of Bahrain and many other Gulf countries were impacted by the Arab Spring as the movement spread across the region. While some companies, including financial institutions, chose to withdraw from the Kingdom of Bahrain during this time, BNP Paribas remained. The Bank has an ongoing commitment to all of the clients it serves and the countries in which it operates, including the Kingdom of Bahrain, the seat of its regional headquarters.

2012 was another landmark year for BNP Paribas in the Kingdom of Bahrain in multiple respects.

H.M. Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, received Advisor to the Chairman, Jean Lemierre, and BNP Paribas Head for the Middle East and Africa, Corporate & Investment Banking, Jean-Christophe Durand, at his residence in Paris in July 2012. His Majesty took the opportunity to praise the close ties between France and the Kingdom of Bahrain in the financial sector and the Bank s role in financing the Kingdom s industrial projects.

Later the same year the BNP Paribas India Advisory Board held its first meeting in the Kingdom of Bahrain, hosted by Durand, as part of the Bank s drive to build links between the markets of the Middle East and Asia. Board members met H.R.H. Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Kingdom of Bahrain s Prime Minister, who expressed interest in furthering bilateral co-operation with India, especially economic and investment ties. The board also met with H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, the Kingdom of Bahrain s Central Bank Governor, and other senior officials. Events such as these have demonstrated the Kingdom of Bahrain s growing role as not only a centre for the Group s Middle East business, but one of its truly international hubs.

A commitment to the Kingdom of Bahrain

Beyond building a thriving business, the Bank has demonstrated its commitment to the Kingdom of Bahrain through various initiatives to support the Kingdom. These projects include the following: In 2006, it joined forces with several other partners, including the French Embassy and the Sheikh Ibrahim Cultural Centre, to transform the historic La Maison Jamsheer in Muharraq, the Kingdom s second largest city, into a Bahraini-French Cultural Centre; In October 2012, the Bank inaugurated the BNP Paribas Office Training Incubator under

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