New Bahrain-India council to boost trade ties
Mumbai, May 31, 2012
An agreement to form a new body dedicated to boosting business between Bahrain and India has been signed during an official visit to the country by HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander.
The memorandum of understanding was signed at the Taj Mahal Palace, in Mumbai, by Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) board member Khalid Ali Al Amin and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) executive committee member Nitin Joshi.
HRH the Crown Prince and leading businessmen attended the event organised by the Economic Development Board (EDB).
'Bahrain has great potential and we want the business to flow both ways so that it benefits the countries,' said Joshi.
'The vision for this platform will slowly pave way for the ambitious Free Trade Agreement between India and the GCC.
'India is looking for foreign direct investment and I have interacted with state heads and rulers from all Gulf countries, who are always keen to do business with India and now it's time to put our best foot forward.'
Transportation Minister and EDB acting chief executive Kamal Ahmed said it would bring both countries even closer together.
'We are in an Asian century, with India one of the leading engines of growth,' he added.
'We have also truly benefited from the work ethic and drive of Indian people in building our economy. Today, one in three of Bahrain's expatriate workers are from India, supporting our economy and contributing significantly to Bahrain's diverse cultural experience.'
Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Dr Essam Fakhro, who is among more than 30 people who make up the Bahraini delegation, explained the new council would consist of 12 members from each country who would meet regularly to discuss business propositions and joint ventures.
He added the BCCI's Bahrain Asian Traders Committee would continue to function separately.
Bahrain can learn from the success story of India which has used its resources to the optimum, making it one of the kingdom's key allies, said HRH the Crown Prince as he met Indian businessmen in the presence of Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan at his residence.
HRH the Crown Prince said co-existence among Indian societies is commendable and the historic relations between both countries go back in time. He said mutual belief in growth will open doors of opportunities to strengthen their economies.
'The Government of Bahrain is proud of its close relations with India,' he said, adding they were looking for both private sectors to become engines of growth.
Governor Sankaranarayanan said the visit will take relations to a new level.
HRH the Crown Prince later met Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata, JBF Industries Limited executive chairman and group promoter Bhagirath C Arya and other businessmen.
The delegation later flew to New Delhi where HRH the Crown Prince will today meet President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna. It will also attend a dinner hosted by Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari. – TradeArabia News Service
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