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State visit to India kicks off 2014 roadshows

India and Bahrain signed no fewer than seven important business deals and 27 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) during an historic three-day official state visit to India by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
As part of the visit, Bahrain-India Business Forums in New Delhi and Mumbai were organised during February, and were accompanied by a 130-strong delegation of Bahraini ministers, government officials and prominent businesspeople. The forums were co-ordinated by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC).
The agreements cover industry sectors including IT, banking, construction and petroleum, and are expected to bring over $450 million of investment into Bahrain.
Strong links, now even stronger
Commercial relations between India and Bahrain go back over 2,000 years to the Dilmun civilisation, but have never been in better health. In fact, in 2011, total trade between Bahrain and India exceeded $1.2 billion.
Leading Indian companies that have established offices or facilities in Bahrain include: Chemco (2013), RBH MEDEX (2013), First Flight Couriers Ltd (2012), Ion Exchange (2012), Pythhos Technology (2012), Equitec Software Technology (2012), Sun Shed Energy (2012), JBF Industries (2011) and Canara Bank (2010). This continued spirit of cooperation, together with Bahrain’s strategic location, promises to open up access for yet more India-based businesses to the $1.5 trillion GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) market and wider MENA region. Working from Bahrain even provides free trade with the USA.
Following the resounding success of the India visit, the MOIC and EDB have run similar roadshows in Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Russia in 2014, with more roadshows planned for the rest of the year.
Commenting, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board, H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed said: “Building on [the] official talks … 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.”

Pick of the deals
Major deals agreed and signed include MOUs between:
  1. Ministry of Industry and Commerce and JBF Industries, which specialises in manufacturing polyester, to set up an industrial project at Salman Industrial City in Bahrain worth $200 million.
  2. Ministry of Industry and Commerce and Chemco Group to set up a plant at Salman Industrial City.
  3. Economic Development Board 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 small and medium enterprises, and reciprocal technology transfer.
  4. Economic Development Board and Nasscom to further the development of ICT industries, including e-commerce and e-governance, in both countries.
  5. Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) and Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBF) to enable cooperation between IIBF and BIBF to provide capacity building programmes for human resources development in the financial sector of Bahrain.

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