India and Bahrain to discuss improving trade ties | SupportBiz

Top Story

India and Bahrain to discuss improving trade ties

With the government opening the doors for qualified foreign investors (QFIs) from the Gulf, India will pitch for accelerated trade and investment with Bahrain, on May 31. With a trade-focused agenda, Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa will hold wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He will also meet President Pratibha Patil, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and External Affairs Minister SM Krishna.

Bahrain's crown prince will be accompanied by senior ministers, officials and a large business delegation. This is the second visit of Al Khalifa to India.

The finance ministry on May 29 allowed QFIs from six Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries and 27 countries of the European Commission (EC) to invest in India to enhance foreign capital inflows.

QFIs are not FIIs/sub accounts. A QFI is an individual, group or association resident in a foreign country, compliant with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards meant to combat money laundering and terrorist funding. The government in January had allowed QFIs from 34 FATF member countries to invest in India as foreign individual investors.

The GCC comprises of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman and Qatar.

The decision is set to give a boost to India's economic ties with Middle East, home to over six million Indians who send over USD30 billion in remittances back home.

Against the backdrop of the global economic slowdown and the eurozone recession, Bahrain, home to 3,50,000 Indians, is looking East and specially to India for more investment.

Informed sources said that Bahrain is keen to attract Indian investments in a host of areas, including construction, infrastructure and tourism.

Bilateral trade has been steadily growing, and touched USD1.5 billion during 2010-11.

Around 120 Indian firms have set up operations in Bahrain, which has positioned itself as a gateway to over USD1 trillion Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market.