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India, Bahrain likely to ink pact for cooperation in space tech

PTI MANAMA | Updated on November 19, 2018

Kamal bin Ahmed Mohamed, Minister for Transportation and Telecommunications, Bahrain.   -  File photo

Bahrain is also looking to forge closer economic ties with India to attract investment and technology companies.

The Bahrain government is likely to sign an agreement with India early next year for cooperation in space technology.

“In February next year, the Gulf nation, hopefully, will sign a pact with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for training and research purposes,” said Kamal Bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister for Transportation and Telecommunications, Bahrain.

“The National Science Space Agency (NSSA), Bahrain and ISRO will sign a Memoradum of Understanding (MoU). It has been approved by the Bahrain government and is in its final stage. Hopefully, I will be in India shortly, maybe during the next air show in February to sign the MoU,” said the minister, who also holds the space portfolio.

He added that the agreement will be mainly for training purposes and both countries will cooperate on research and technology.

“It is just a starting point. The government will send some Bahrainis to be trained in India from January for eight weeks to study how they can design and build satellites,” Mohammed said.

Bahrain is also looking to forge closer economic ties with India to attract investment and technology companies.

“We are in continuous discussion with the private sector, CII and Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) which is the government agency to promote Bahrain and attract foreign direct investment, and India is one of the important markets for EDB. It has an office there. There will be a delegation there in December,” the minister said.

He further commented that India is an important market and it will become one of the superpowers in terms of economy.

On investment from India, he said, “I believe Indian companies are becoming bigger; they are expanding outside India and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries offer them the best opportunity. We are focussing more on technology and knowledge-based industry and services.”

India is an important business partner for Bahrain, and the kingdom is keen to further strengthen the relations with the private sector in India.

The trade relationship between the two countries also prompted many Indians to set up their businesses there.

“Located at the heart of the Middle East, Bahrain is the natural gateway to the Gulf region, with strong, efficient and cost-effective pan-GCC transport links and direct access to Saudi Arabia — the region’s largest market,” Bahraini officials said.

Published on November 19, 2018

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