GCC investors eye medical city in India
Manama, April 22, 2008
A leading Bahraini businessman has proposed the setting up of a medical city in Bangalore by GCC investors.
Abdulnabi Al Sho'ala, who is also the chairman of the Bahrain - India Society (BIS), proposed to the Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce and Industry to establish a committee to examine the proposal in detail and arrange a feasibility study.
Al Sho'ala and BIS board member Othman Sharif discussed the proposal with the federation general-secretary Abdulrahim Hasan Naqi.
The former Labour and Social Development minister also made a presentation on the proposed project at the India-Arab Investment Projects Conclave held in New Delhi last week.
He led a delegation from Bahrain to the meeting, which was organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
'India is now poised to regain its position as a prime destination for medical services to the GCC nationals,' said Al Sho'ala.
'India should be preferred as the natural destination as it has many advantages. GCC nationals feel at home and feel familiar with the culture, food habits, environment in India.'
While GCC nationals are currently not utilising the potential of India as a medical care destination for various reasons, India, however, is perceived as the preferred choice for medical treatment by Western nationals, said Al Sho'ala.
India was the preferred or perhaps the only destination for proper health care to the people of GCC countries before the development and establishment of the excellent medical facilities, which are now available in the GCC states, he said.
'Citizens of GCC countries are, even today, looking for health care and medical facilities outside the GCC countries,' said Al Sho'ala.
'Europe and the US are the destinations of some members of the affluent segment of GCC citizens.
'However, the majority of GCC citizens cannot afford the expensive treatment in Europe and US and to such segments the only alternative is Asian destinations.'
India perhaps produces the largest number of health care and medical professionals in comparison with other countries of the world.
Bangalore is the city, which is in the forefront of producing the largest number of such professionals in India, said Al Sho'ala.
The proposed project will not only cater to the needs of GCC market but also to the Indian market as a whole, said Al Sho'ala.
'GCC investors are now fully-aware of the potential of India and are extremely keen and serious to consider any viable business proposal,' he added.
'Gulf Finance House has already taken a similar initiative by establishing the new Energy City in Mumbai. A Medical and Health Care City is even more viable and very attractive to the investors of both countries.
'This project, if approved, will be a platform on which bilateral business and economic co-operation between India and the GCC countries will be demonstrated in a big way,' he said. - TradeArabia News Service
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