Mumbai: The Bahrain Economic Development Board (BEDB) signed a dozen MoUs worth millions of dollars with Indian companies, banks and a university on Friday thus paving the way for even greater relations between the two countries.
Following the visit of King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain to New Delhi and a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a day ago to boost economic and trade ties, the 100-strong high-level delegation of businessmen and women arrived in Mumbai to hold a day-long interaction with Indian businessmen at the Bahrain India Business Forum organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.
Included in the MoUs signed were one between Rsquare Technologies W.L.L and Indian Moham Infosolutions to invest $255 million to set up a data centre in Bahrain to create the first largest data centre in the Middle East and employ more than 500 professionals in the IT sector. It was signed by Shanthini Raja Rahamutallah, managing director of Rsquare Technologies and Sujay Kant, managing director of Moham Infosolutions.
Other MoUs were signed between the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Bahrain, and JBF Industries, a polyester production company, as well as with Chemco that manufactures pharma and speciality chemicals. They were signed by Dr Hassan A. Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Bahrain, and the managing directors, Rakesh Gothi of JBF and Vaibhav Saragoi of Chemco. The MoU between the BEDB and Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of India, to promote exports from India and Bahraini small and medium enterprises (SMEs), was signed by Kamal Bin Ahmad, Minister of Transportation and Acting Executive of the BEDB and David Rasquinha, Chief Executive of EXIM Bank.
An MoU between the University of Bahrain and Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University will focus on energy, higher education and various research fields. The agreement was signed by Dr Ebrahim Mohammad Janahi, President of the University of Bahrain and Professor P.K. Banik, Director General of the Petroleum University.
Business ties were also forged between the Bahrain Association of Banks and Indian Banks’ Association to promote cooperation and develop banking activities. Ali Rashid Al Amin Co Bsc signed an agreement not just with Drik India to explore opportunities in the fly ash industry to support production of superior quality concrete but also Sanghi Overseas to set up industrial and medical gas plants.
In the real estate sector, the Gulf Finance House signed an agreement with the Adani Group and Wadhwa Group. Haji Hassan Group Bsc and Ashtech India also signed an MoU to plan and discuss future co-operation in businesses such as building materials in the Arabian Gulf.
Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr Fakhro said that the numerous high level visits from both countries over the last few years is expected to open a new chapter in building a strong and lasting relationship.
“Home to thousands of Indians employed in critical sectors of the economy like aviation, engineering, banking and telecom, Bahrain is one of the most business-friendly countries in the Gulf,” he said. Out of a population of over a million, Indians constitute around 350,000, he said.
The emphasis at the Forum was that Bahrain was a stable country that had brought in economic and political reforms whilst adopting educational reforms which are important ingredients in the making of a strong economy. There are enormous opportunities for investment for Indian manufacturers and businessmen in the field of financial services, logistics, information communication technology, manufacturing, education and training and professional services, the delegates said.