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Bahrain seeks to spur India trade

Manama, January 27, 2014

A high-powered delegation from Bahrain is visiting India to explore bilateral economic opportunities, the Economic Development Board (EDB) said yesterday.

Led by Transportation Minister and EDB acting chief executive Kamal Ahmed, the delegation is participating in the Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) annual flagship event, the partnership summit, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

The theme of the event this year is "Emerging Global Value Chains: Building Partnerships".

Being held at the Taj West End Hotel in Bengaluru, the capital of the southern Indian state of Karnataka, the three-day event starts today.

The summit will see back-to-back plenary sessions with government and private sector leaders from around the world, discussing critical issues relating to global trade and economic partnerships.

"We Bahrainis are an outward-looking people, and great advocates for trade liberalisation, understanding that by opening our markets we can better facilitate investment and encourage growth across our region and beyond," Ahmed said in statement issued on the eve of the summit.

"Bahrain has an open and liberal economy that enables Indian and other international investors to thrive, and grants unrivalled access to the other markets of the GCC," he said.

"Not only that, Bahrain has a number of international free trade agreements in place, including with the US."

Key officials from Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) including chairman Dr Essam Fakhro, treasurer and board member Othman Al Rayes and board member Khalid Al Amin are also a part of the delegation.

Dr Fakhro said the GCC was a fast-growing market, currently worth $1.5 trillion, with Bahrain uniquely positioned at its heart offering unrivalled access to Indian and other international investors.

"Bahrain has a favourable business environment that includes clear and easy regulation, competitive tariffs, a highly-skilled local workforce, and quick access to the other GCC markets, including Saudi Arabia, the GCC's largest market, via a causeway," he said.

The other members are Bahrain-based Dadabhai Group's chairman Mohammed Dadabhai and the EDB's executive director for business development Vivian Jamal.

India and Bahrain have a longstanding bilateral economic relationship strengthened by growing trade, which reached $1.7 billion in 2011, according to the International Monetary Fund.

A large number of Indian businesses have established operations in Bahrain as a means of accessing the wider Gulf market, which is set to reach $2 trillion by 2020.

Leading Indian companies with offices or facilities in Bahrain include: Tata Consultancy Services, Tech Mahindra, First Flight, KIMS, JBF Industries, Canara Bank, ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda and State Bank of India.

Indians also make up a sizeable proportion of Bahrain's population and enhance the kingdom's cultural heritage. More than 350,000 Indians are believed to be living and working in Bahrain.-TradeArabia News Service




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