Bahrain inks $450m India investment deals
New Delhi, February 22, 2014
Bahrain is set to benefit from investments worth more than $450 million as a result of deals signed during a key business forum in India yesterday.
Twelve memoranda of understanding were signed on the last day of the Bahrain-India Business Forum, in Mumbai, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
The forum - co-ordinated by the Industry and Commerce Ministry, Economic Development Board and the Confederation of Indian Industry - was organised as part of His Majesty King Hamad's landmark visit to India.
The agreements span a range of industries from information technology, banking and construction to petroleum.
It means that 26 deals have now been ratified by the Bahrain delegation of more than 130 businessmen and women, led by Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro, that visited New Delhi and Mumbai.
The Bahraini delegation comprised more than 130 businessmen and women who promoted opportunities for Indian businesses in the kingdom and the Middle East.
"This high level of trade represents the strength of the relationship India has with the GCC, but also the opportunities that exist to capitalise on close ties," Dr Fakhro said.
"We have seen non-oil trade between Bahrain and India grow more than 135 per cent between 2006 and 2011, bringing the figure up to $882 million in 2011.
"It also allows us to fulfil our purpose of enhancing and strengthening business relations with India following the directives of His Majesty."
Transportation Minister and EDB acting chief executive Kamal Ahmed hailed the bilateral discussions and the progress made during the King's historic visit.
"Building on this week's official talks between His Majesty and Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, we will work closer together to promote trade and investment and also share research, best practice policies and procedures, as well as promote cultural exchange," he said.
"Through agreements such as these we can work together to build strong businesses and strong economies, benefiting both Indians and Bahrainis."
The major deals signed were:
* An MoU between the Industry and Commerce Ministry and JBF Industries, which specialises in manufacturing polyester, to set up an industrial project at Salman Industrial City in Bahrain worth $200 million.
It was signed by Dr Fakhro and JBF Industries managing director Rakesh Gothi.
* An MoU between the Industry and Commerce Ministry and Chemco Group to set up a plant at Salman Industrial City.
It was penned by Dr Fakhro and Chemco Group managing director Vaibhav Ram Saragoi.
* An MoU between the EDB and Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) to promote business opportunities and grow trade between India and Bahrain, with particular emphasis on exports from Indian and Bahraini small and medium enterprises, and reciprocal transfer of technology to the Indian industry.
The deal was signed by Ahmed and EXIM Bank chief executive David Rasquinha.
* An MoU between Bahrain University and Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU) focusing on energy, the energy of economics, higher education and other research fields.
It was signed by Bahrain University president Dr Ebrahim Janahi and PDPU director-general Prof P K Banik.
* An MoU between Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) and Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBF).
It was signed by BIBF board director Hassan Jarrar and IIBF chief executive R Bhaskaran.
* An MoU between the Bahrain Association of Banks (BAB) and Indian Banks' Association, signed by BAB board member Hassan Jarrar and Indian Banks' Association (IBA) chief executive MV Tanksale.
* An MoU between Ali Rashid Al Amin Company and Dirk India to explore opportunities in the fly ash industry to support the production of superior quality concrete for the construction industry.
It was ratified by Ali Rashid Al Amin director Khalid Al Amin and Dirk India chairman Georg Dirk.
*Al Amin also signed an MoU with Sanghi Overseas to explore opportunities in the industrial and medical gas plant sector. It was agreed with Rajendra Singh of Sanghi Overseas.
* An MoU between Gulf Finance House (GFH) and Adani Group.
GFH chief executive Hisham Al Rayes and Adani Group chief executive (real estate business) Tarwinder Singh signed the agreement.
*Al Rayes also signed an MoU with Wadhwa Group. It was agreed with the group's managing director Sanjay Chabbria.
* An MoU between Haji Hassan Group and Ashtech India to discuss future co-operation in businesses such as building materials in the Arabian Gulf.
Haji Hassan director Adel Hasan Al A'ali and Ashtech India director Bankat Mandhania signed the agreement.
*An MoU between Rsquare Technologies and Indian Moham Infosolutions for investing more than $255 million to set up a data centre in Bahrain, the first of its size in the Middle East, that will employ more than 500 professionals in the IT sector.
The agreement was signed by Rsquare Technologies managing director Shanthini Raja, Rahamathullah and Moham Infosolutions chief executive and managing director Sujay Kanth.
In addition to the Mumbai event, the delegation also took part in a similar business forum in New Delhi as well as a number of high-level discussions between Bahrain ministers and their Indian counterparts.
Government officials and business leaders also took part in a series of panel discussions yesterday.
Opening the discussions, Dr Fakhro said foreign investors are able to incorporate businesses in Bahrain with 100 per cent foreign ownership in virtually all sectors, and the government continues to do everything it can to improve the economic environment and remove any unnecessary delays in the registration processes.
"The government has invested heavily in a new web-based registration system which will permit seamless processing of applications linking all aspects of licensing in a single application, making it possible to achieve fast registration times.
"We have a new 'Economic City' at the feasibility stage which hopefully will create a new paradigm for Bahrain through the integration of all aspects of services, industry, manufacturing and urban lifestyle, and will be an important factor in encouraging a host of new enterprises in niche industries," Dr Fakhro said.
Among those who took part in a 'Financial Services Roundtable' was Central Bank of Bahrain financial institutions supervision executive director Abdulrahman Al Baker, BBK chief executive Abdulkarim Bucheery, Standard Chartered Bahrain chief executive Hassan Jarrar, ICICI Bank wholesale banking country head Vikash Sharma, Trust Re chief executive Fadi AbuNahl and EDB financial services and business development director Boyd Winton.-TradeArabia News Service-TradeArabia News Service