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Thursday, Jan 15, 2004

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`Indian businessmen can tap Gulf market via Bahrain'

Our Bureau

Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, with Mr Onkar Kanwar, Senior Vice-President, FICCI, at a luncheon meeting with Indian businessmen in the Capital on Wednesday. — Kamal Narang

New Delhi , Jan. 14

BAHRAIN with its strategic geographic location in the Gulf could become a conduit for Indian businesses in the region. According to Mr Ali Saleh Al Saleh, Minister of Commerce of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the entire region is a potential market for Indian businessmen and could be easily accessed through a regional base in Bahrain.

"When talking of opportunities, we should not restrict ourselves to those available in Bahrain alone," he said at a business meeting jointly organised by the FICCI-CII here on Wednesday.

Saying that this is the most appropriate time to consolidate the historically close relations between the nations, the Minister stated that with a supportive Government at the top, this could be made possible.

Furthermore, he added that modern and sophisticated infrastructure, an investor-friendly banking and financial network coupled with a modern legal system made his country all the more attractive for foreign investment.

In this regard, he announced that a new centre of excellence would be operational soon for providing all the required services under one roof to facilitate smooth and speedy incorporation of business.

Mr Saleh also pledged his Government's support to enable Indian businessmen to take advantage of profitable and cost-effective opportunities.

"We do not tax your profits but we tax our brains to ensure that Bahrain offers an attractive environment for foreign investors," he added.

Mr Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Kingdom of Bahrain, asserted that there was a need to increase interaction between the two nations particularly on matters concerning the region.

Bahrain has identified six economic clusters - IT and telecommunications, healthcare, education and training, tourism, business services and downstream industries.

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