(BAHRAIN) – The Bahrain Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and GIA (Gemological Institute of America) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help develop the Kingdom of Bahrain’s Gemstone and Pearl Testing Laboratory (GPTLB) into a world-class research center for natural pearls.
“We’re pleased to contribute GIA’s expertise and research to build on Bahrain’s history and reputation as a leading center for natural pearl research and production,” said Tom Moses, GIA’s executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer.
The initiative, which was agreed on in Nov. 2013, is to protect and enrich Bahrain’s pearling industry by increasing capacity, research, expertise and technology at the GPTLB, and by identifying further opportunities for growth. The memorandum builds on Bahrain’s history as a world pearling center, an industry once considered the backbone of the Kingdom’s economy.
“This is an exciting development for Bahrain’s pearling industry. By working in partnership with GIA, the GPTLB will be provided with the facilities and expertise required to capitalize on regional and international trade and investment opportunities in this fast growing sector,” said Dr. Hassan Abdullah Fakhro, the minister of Industry and Commerce.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with GIA, a leading source of research, standards, and education in gems and jewelry, to ensure the GPTLB has the tools required to boost Bahrain’s pearl production capacity,” added H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the Bahrain EDB. “Historically, pearling was the backbone of our economy, and we want to capitalize on our heritage, combined with world-class techniques and processes, to create a center of excellence for the industry here in Bahrain.”
GIA has an established presence in the Middle East, conducting education programs and courses in major trade centers including Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.