MANAMA: In an effort to promote and revitalise Bahrain's pearl industry, the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with three entities in Japan.
The MoU was signed during a visit to that country by a high-level Bahraini delegation led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander, First Deputy Premier and Economic Development Board chairman.
Besides the investment arm of Bahrain, the signatories include Kinoshita Pearl, a leading specialist company in natural and cultured pearls, First Stem Cell Japan, a biotechnology research company, and Japan International Co-operation Centre (JICE).
The MoU will pave the way for Kinoshita Pearl and First Stem Cell to provide advanced technologies and methods to locate pearls and determine their quality and maturity.
Mumtalakat and its partners expect to leverage the partnership to increase production of Bahraini pearls and raise the profile of Bahrain's natural pearl industry globally.
"For many years the pearl industry was an important mainstay of our economy and we believe that there is potential to revitalise this industry," Mumtalakat chief executive Mahmood Al Kooheji said.
"Today we can see the rich legacy of this industry in Muharraq where Unesco has classified three offshore oyster beds as world heritage sites.
"Japan and Bahrain share this legacy with the Japanese pearl industry being one of the most advanced globally," he added.
"In an effort to support the regeneration of this historic industry, we must embrace new methods and technologies.
"As the partner of choice for international companies and investors, we look forward to co-operating with Kinoshita Pearl, First Stem Cell and JICE to further develop the pearl industry in Bahrain," Mr Al Kooheji added.