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Bahrain and Kerala sign MoU for cooperation in FinTech, ICT & IoT Startups

  • Bahrain and Kerala government agencies to cooperate on knowledge exchange, best practice and delegation visits to boost FinTech, IoT and ICT innovation
  • Other areas of collaboration include education programmes, innovation projects and startup development and support

Dubai, 9 October 2019: The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), the investment promotion agency for the Kingdom of Bahrain, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) – the Kerala government body for supporting technology startups in Kerala. The MoU aims to provide a framework for co-operation between the two authorities to promote innovation in their respective markets in the fields of FinTech, ICT and related emerging technologies. The signing took place in Dubai, where both parties were attending the 39th annual GITEX Technology Week.

A key focus of the MoU is to build business opportunities for each country’s startups in the other’s market. The scope of cooperation also includes the facilitation of delegation visits to Bahrain and India, as well as collaboration on knowledge exchange and best practice regarding:

  • Education programmes and curricula, including facilitating and enhancing cooperation between relevant parties such as financial and technological institutions, universities and research institutions, technology experts, and government agencies
  • Facilitating the development and growth of FinTech and ICT start-ups and centres via support from hubs such as Bahrain Fintech Bay, Brinc Batelco IoT Accelerator, Flat6 Labs Bahrain, Brilliant Lab and KSUM Hub
  • Exploration of innovation projects in areas such as digital and mobile payments, blockchain and distributed ledgers, big data, flexible platforms (API), AML, eKYC, and other emerging areas in FinTech and ICT

Dr. Saji Gopinath, KSUM CEO said:

Building a robust ecosystem where FinTech startups and IT firms can access and engage with critical soft infrastructure such as universities, financial institutions and government agencies will be a key enabler for growth and innovation in the FinTech and ICT sectors. These are priority areas for both Kerala and Bahrain, and we are immensely excited to build even further upon where we are already seeing incredible growth with this timely new partnership.”

Ms Dharmi Magdani, Bahrain EDB Regional Director for India said:

This is an excellent opportunity for Keralan startups to take advantage of Bahrain’s thriving ecosystem. With the lowest setup and operating costs, some of the most advanced supportive infrastructure and one of the most skilled labour forces in the region, there is no better destination for startups seeking to access and scale across the growing $1.5 trillion GCC markets.”

Bahrain and India have enjoyed commercial ties for thousands of years with trade currently standing at some $1.3 billion. FinTech and ICT are already a key focus for collaboration between the two countries, with a similar MoU signed by the EDB and the Government of Maharashtra last year. Indian cryptocurrency exchange Belfrics is one of several FinTechs testing innovative technologies in Bahrain’s regulatory sandbox, and in the first half of 2019 alone, eight new projects in Bahrain’s ICT sector were started by Indian companies – more than any other country – bringing investments worth more than $3 million. This longstanding relationship was brought to new heights in August with the state visit to Bahrain by Narendra Modi – the first ever visit to the Kingdom by an Indian Prime Minister.

-Ends –

For more information, please contact:

Communications and Media Department

Economic Development Board

Phone: +973-17-589966

E-mail: internationalmedia@bahrainedb.com

About Bahrain Economic Development Board

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is an investment promotion agency with overall responsibility for attracting investment into the Kingdom and supporting initiatives that enhance the investment climate.

The EDB works with the government and both current and prospective investors, in order to ensure that Bahrain’s investment climate is attractive, to communicate the key strengths, and to identify where opportunities exist for further economic growth through investment.

The EDB focuses on several economic sectors that capitalise on Bahrain’s competitive advantages and provide significant investment opportunities. These sectors include financial services, manufacturing, ICT, tourism, logistics and transport.

For more information on the Bahrain EDB visit www.bahrainedb.com; for information about Bahrain visit www.bahrain.com.

About Kerala Startup Mission

Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM is the government body to support the technology startups in the state and is responsible for policy making and implementation and supports startup ecosystem by means of different components such as Infrastructure, Incubators and Accelerators, Human Capital Development, Funding, State Support, Governance, Public Private Partnership, Scaling Existing and Establishing New Incubators and Startup-Boot Up-Scale up model for moving fast from ideas to IPO.

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