Ahmed and Nasscom president at the signing ceremony
Bahrain signs key deals with Indian firms
New Delhi, February 20, 2014
Bahrain has signed key agreements with Indian business organisations, aimed at encouraging greater economic collaboration between the two friendly countries.
A business delegation co-ordinated by Bahrain's Industry and Commerce Ministry and the Economic Development Board (EDB) also hosted the Bahrain-India Business Forum in the Indian capital, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
More than 130 Bahraini businessmen and women promoted opportunities for Indian businesses in Bahrain and the Middle East.
Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro said the forum and the agreements signed further strengthened economic ties between Bahrain and India.
"The fact that the agreements cover a range of sectors, including information and communication technology, financial services, construction and industry, demonstrates the diverse opportunities in the kingdom.
"Bahrain is uniquely positioned as the natural gateway to the $1.5 trillion GCC economy, and the region's favourable fundamentals create strong opportunities for Indian companies," he said.
Transportation Minister and EDB acting chief executive Kamal Ahmed hailed "the extremely productive bilateral discussions that demonstrates the depth of our relationship."
"We are looking to enhance and strengthen business relations with India following the directives of His Majesty," Ahmed said.
"By working together we can help business in both our countries to flourish and our economies to grow."
In his opening remarks at the forum, Dr Fakhro pointed out that non-oil trade between Bahrain and India witnessed a growth of more than 135 per cent between 2006 and 2011 to reach $882 million in 2011.
The total combined oil and non-oil trade reached $2.5 billion in 2011 - an increase of 280 per cent or $666 million compared to 2006.
Dr Fakhro also noted that Bahrain now hosts a large number of Indian companies, including in the aviation, management services, engineering and ICT sectors.
In his keynote address, Ahmed reflected on Bahrain and India's shared history and longstanding bilateral economic and trade relationship, as well as the growing importance of India to the GCC, which has become the region's largest trading partner with bilateral trade forecast to have exceeded $175 billion in 2013.
* A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between EDB and Nasscom - the Indian business association representing the ICT industry - to further the development of ICT industries, including e-commerce and e-governance, in both countries. The agreement was signed by Ahmed and Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar.
Other agreements include:
* MoU between Bahrain Development Bank and the Small Industries Development Bank of India, signed by Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa and Sidbi deputy managing director Maini, to develop initiatives to help grow SMEs.
* MoU between Tamkeen and the Indian National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) to exchange learning and best-practices in training, entrepreneurship and skills development. It was signed by Ahmed and NSDC chief executive Dilip Chenoy.
* MoU between Bahrain University and Jawaharlal Nehru University, which was signed by UoB president Dr Ibrahim Janahi and JNU vice-chancellor Prof Sudhir Kumar Sopory.
* MoU between National Authority for Qualifications and Quality Assurance of Education and Training in Bahrain and the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in India. It was signed by QQA chief executive Dr Jawaher Al Mudhahki and NAAC director Prof A N Rai.
* MoU between Khaled Al-Amin and Company and BR Shetty and Company - signed by Khaled Al Amin and BR Shetty.
* MoU between VKL Holding Company and Ansal Buildwell to jointly develop housing and real estate projects as well as infrastructure projects in India and Bahrain.
* MoU between Bader Group of Companies and Prime Media Group - signed by chairman Fareed Bader and joint chairman Anish Gandhi.
* MoU between the Bahrain Business Women's Society and Business Professional Women India.
* MoU Between National Cement Company and Liberty Group.
* An agreement was signed between Nader and Ebrahim Hassan Company and Sanghar Exports to set up a 1,000-acre banana plantation, in addition to the company's existing set-up, to increase production.
Government officials and business leaders took part in the panel discussions.
Taking part in the first discussion on 'Opportunities for Indian Businesses in Bahrain' were Standard Chartered Bank Bahrain chief executive Hassan Jarrar, Electricity and Water Authority chief executive Shaikh Nawaf bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Central Bank of Bahrain's financial institutions supervision executive director Abdulrahman Al Baker, Industrial Affairs Under-Secretary Osama Al Arrayedh, Works Under-Secretary Waleed Al Saie and Bapco chairman and acting chief executive Adel Almoayyed.
The second panel discussion, 'Bahrain - Gateway to the Region', included the participation of Noon Group chairman Lord Ghulam Noon as moderator, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) president Dr Essam Fakhro, EDB executive director for business development Vivian Jamal, LuLu Group International chairman Yusuffali M A, Bahrain-India Society chairman Mohammed Dadabhai and Kims Global chairman and managing director Dr M I Sahadulla.
The Bahrain business delegation to India will conclude with a second Bahrain-India Business Forum, organised in conjunction with the CII, in Mumbai on February 21). - TradeArabia News Service