Meeting to discuss key GCC-India trade pact
Manama, May 29, 2012
The proposed free trade agreement between the GCC and India will be discussed during the two-day official state visit by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander.
The Bahrain delegation leaves today as part of the visit to India and will visit Mumbai and New Delhi. Members will engage in high-level talks with Indian officials and private sector leaders.
The visit aims to strengthen political and trade relations between both countries.
"Bahrain currently hosts more than 120 Indian firms," said Transportation Minister and Economic Development Board (EDB) acting chief executive Kamal Ahmed.
"Also, Indian nationals are the largest expatriate community in the kingdom," Mr Ahmed added.
"As Indian firms continue to expand internationally, Bahrain's low cost of doing business, highly skilled local workforce and access to the GCC market mean that it can provide an excellent location from which these firms can access the fast-growing Gulf market.
"This market is worth more than $1 trillion," he said.
As part of a roadshow, the EDB has organised a series of one-to-one meetings with members of the private sector and business community.
The high-level talks will also include discussions on the proposed free trade agreement between the GCC and India.
The official delegation accompanying HRH the Crown Prince includes representatives of the EDB, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and Mumtalakat.
Dadabhai Group chairman Mohammed Dadabhai, LuLu Group managing director Yusuffali M A and Nader and Ebrahim Sons of Hassan Group partner and group managing director Ebrahim Al Ameer are also part of Bahrain's delegation.
"The Indian economy is the second fastest growing in the world," said BCCI chairman Dr Essam Fakhro."This makes India an attractive market for us to showcase our commitment to economic diversification."
"Our visit to India will enable us to interact with Indian businesses," he noted.
"It will also enable us to present a compelling proposition of holding Bahrain as a strategic business location from which to access the Gulf region," he stated.
"In the region, growth is to double to $2 trillion by 2020, as forecast by the Economist Intelligence Unit," he added.
Bilateral trade between Bahrain and India last year was around $1.7 billion, according to the International Monetary Fund. India's share of Bahrain's total foreign trade was 4.1 per cent between 2005-2010.-TradeArabia News Service