Bahrain 'ideal location for Indian businesses'
Manama, October 23, 2013
The economic relationship between Bahrain and India has been an important factor in enhancing development in the kingdom, said a senior minister.
Speaking at the inaugural Bahrain-India Conference and Exhibition yesterday, Industry and Commerce Minister and Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority chairman Dr Hassan Fakhro said Bahrain's economic development to a large extent has been achieved on the back of Asian manpower, skills and expertise, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"Bahrain is home to 2,143 companies with Indian ownership," stated the report citing the minister.
"There are an additional 19 Indian companies operating in aviation and management services, engineering, banking and telecommunications, and 116 commercial agencies," said Dr Fakhro.
"Bahrain's non-oil trade with India has grown by more than 135 per cent in the period between 2006 and 2011 to $882 million. The overall trade volume that includes both oil and non-oil trade in 2011 amounted to $2.5 billion, up more than 280 per cent over the $666 million of 2006," he added.
The three-day economic partnership and exhibition is being held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
The event was inaugurated by Dr Fakhro and India's Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed, in the presence of inJAz chief executive Shaikha Hessa bint Khalifa Al Khalifa, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ghanim Al Buainain, Bahrain Chamber of Industry and Commerce chairman Dr Essam Fakhro, Indian Ambassador Dr Mohan Kumar and several top officials from the two countries.
Dr Fakhro said it was an honour for him to accompany His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, on an official visit to India where he witnessed first-hand the enthusiasm and genuine friendship of the Indian people.
"The visit was a wondrous experience, the sheer size, vibrancy and diversity of your incredible country is truly breathtaking, and we are most happy to have you as friends and partners," the minister said.
Indian nationals, at around 300,000, make up over 50 per cent of the expatriate population in Bahrain, with 65-70 per cent of them engaged in construction, contracting and maintenance sectors.
However, there are Indian nationals working at all levels in practically all professions from carpenters to doctors, storekeepers to pharmacists, all of whom play a continuing and important role in Bahrain's socio-economic development, he said.
The minister stressed that the Bahrain government was doing everything it can to continuously improve the economic environment and in particular to remove any unnecessary delays in administrative systems.
"Bahrain is the ideal location for Indian businesses to leverage on the excellent transport and communication links and Bahrain's position within the GCC, to tap the enormous regional and wider Middle East region markets," he added.
The kingdom's free trade agreement with the US holds good for Indian businesses producing in Bahrain for the US export market.
"There are many companies in Bahrain already benefiting from the significant competitive advantages which duty free imports into the US offer, and I would encourage more Indian manufacturers to take advantage of what we have to offer," Dr Fakhro said.
Making more industrial land available for future projects to support growing demand and to support manufacturing towards higher levels of innovation and productivity are focus areas for the ministry under the new industrial policy, he added.-TradeArabia News Service