Bahrain – The island monarch and free port in the Persian Gulf has only had a representative here since 2001. Their choice was well worth the wait – Dr Chow Yei Ching, Chairman and Managing Director of Chevalier International Holdings.
How did you become the Honorary Consul?
“Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters?” (有朋自遠方來，不亦樂乎)
The first chapter of Confucian Analects is famously quoted and recognised outside Asia. It was over a decade when Dr Chow Yei Ching arrived in distant lands in the Middle East and was received warmly by the officials. He was part of the delegation led by then-Financial Secretary Sir Donald Tsang in 1999. The trip saw the beginning of a long-lasting tie between Dr Chow and Bahrain.
He was soon invited to be the Bahrain’s first representative in Hong Kong, following a growing rapport between him and the monarchy. Though Dr Chow was accomplished in many areas, diplomacy was an uncharted zone to him. He was worried that his inexperience would be unequal to the responsibility but was reassured by the Bahraini officials that he was their man. Dr Chow was convinced and he took office in 2001 – a year before Bahrain became, by referendum, The Kingdom of Bahrain.
What are your achievements?
Last year was the tenth anniversary of the Hong Kong Bahrain Business Association. The Associations sits at the same table as other international Chambers in the International Business Committee (IBC). Dr Chow points out that Bahrain is the only nation in the Gulf Cooperation Council to be included in the IBC which is comprised of over 20 international Chambers of Commerce, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the International Chamber of Commerce, and is chaired by the Chief Secretary Mrs Carrie Lam. Dr Chow’s effort has succeeded in elevating the Bahrain Business Association.
Another high water mark in Bahrain-Hong Kong relations was established last October when the biggest biodiesel plant in Hong Kong opened in Tseung Kwan O. The plant, owned by ASB Biodiesel,
is capable of producing 100,000 tons of low-carbon transport fuel every year. The project was invested by Bahrain and Dr Chow played a role to bring it to fruition. Prior to the construction of the plant, he arranged meetings between the Hong Kong government and Bahrain investors. The successful cooperation between the two states is a reminder of Bahrain-HK connections today and for the future.