A business delegation from the Kingdom of Bahrain has been sent to India as part of an official two-city state visit led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain and Chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB). The visit aims to strengthen bilateral, political and trade relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and India.

The delegation will visit Mumbai and Delhi on 30th and 31st May and will see the delegation engage in high level talks with Indian officials and private sector leaders.

Speaking about the upcoming visit, Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB, said: “Bahrain and India share strong business relations: Bahrain currently hosts more than 120 Indian firms, and Indian nationals are the largest expatriate community in Bahrain. 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, which is worth over a trillion dollars.”

The visit will provide an opportunity to boost links between Bahrain and India, who have always maintained a friendly & stable relationship. As part of the 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 with the Gulf Cooperation Council & India. The delegation accompanying the Crown Prince includes representatives of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Mumtalakat (Bahrain’s investment arm holding company for the Kingdom’s non-oil and gas strategic assets).

Dr Esam Abdullah Fakhro, Chairman, of the BCCI, said: “The Indian economy is the second fastest growing economy in the world, which makes it an attractive market for us to showcase our commitment to economic diversification. Our visit to India will enable us to interact with Indian businesses and be able to present a compelling proposition of holding Bahrain as a strategic business location from which to access the Gulf region, where growth is to double to USD two trillion by 2020, as forecast by the Economist Intelligence Unit.”

According to the International Monetary Fund, the total trade between India & Bahrain in 2011 was USD 1.7 billion. Diplomatic relations have been established between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Republic of India at Ambassadorial level since 1971. Relations are also characterised by continuous and cordial political and cultural exchanges. There are over 200,000 Indian residents in Bahrain. There are a number of Indian companies with regional headquarters and branches registered in Bahrain including: Tata Consultancy Services, Tech Mahindra, JBF Industries, Canara Bank, ICICI Bank, Bank of Boroda and State Bank of India.

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