A senior Irish delegation headed by Matthew Elderfield, the country’s top regulator, and former Prime Minister John Bruton, was in Bahrain on Wednesday for the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries.
The agreement is set to pave the way for increased cooperation between the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Central Bank of Ireland, including on the supervision of financial institutions, investment and insurance businesses and collective investment schemes.
The signing ceremony – just a day after the European Council released emergency funds to Ireland and its government unveiled a swinging €6bn emergency Budget – followed a seminar hosted by the visitors entitled "Ireland – the financial services gateway to Europe".
In a statement, the Central Bank of Bahrain said it offered the Irish delegation its expertise in the field of Islamic finance.
It said: "This event aimed to identify investment opportunities in the Republic of Ireland and exchange Bahrain’s experiences and knowledge in the fields of Islamic finance and financial services in general."
The memorandum was signed by Elderfield and Abdul Rahman Al Baker, executive director for financial institutions supervision at the CBB.
Al Baker said: "We look forward to working with the Central Bank Of Ireland in order to further enhance the cooperation in the field of financial services.
"This MOU represents the mutual understanding which will surely initiate further opportunities between the two countries."
Bruton is chairman of Ireland’s International Financial Services Centre.