May 27, 2015
Manama: The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) hosted a group of Indian journalists this week to present the Kingdom’s investment opportunities and further strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries.
The journalists and editors represent a number of high profile Indian publications including Financial Express, Trinity Mirror, and News Today. The trip follows His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s historic visit to the India last year and reiterates the strong connections between the two countries. His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the EDB also visited India in 2012 and 2013.
The two-day visit included meetings and interviews with a number of public and private sector representatives, including Dr. Jarmo Kotilaine, Chief Economist at the EDB, Ms. Vivian Jamal Executive Director, Business Development, Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) as well as officials from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB); the Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP); Chemco Group; Royal Bahrain Hospital and the State Bank of India. The journalists also experienced Bahraini culture with visits to the National Museum.
Commenting on the visit, Mr. Khalid Al Rumaihi said:
“Bahrain and India have strong economic ties, which are developing even further following a number of mutual visits and events. Inviting journalists on such visits allows us to highlight to potential Indian investors Bahrain’s economic landscape, and reiterate the Kingdom’s position as an ideal business and investment gateway for accessing our neighboring GCC markets”.
Efforts to strengthen trade between the two countries were emphasised with the announcement of the launch of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)’s first office in the Middle East in Bahrain, which will encourage Indian investments in the region. The EDB have also signed an agreement with Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) to promote cooperation between the two countries in key areas such as financial services and research.
In addition, Bahrain announced an update to the visa policy in April 2015, which follows on the changes to the policy made last year allowing for Indian nationals to obtain e-visas to the Kingdom. Indian business visitors and tourists will be able to spend longer periods of time in the country, where business visas are now valid for a month and are multi-entry, whilst visitor visas are valid for three months and are also multi-entry.
Indians residents in the GCC will also be eligible to receive multi-entry visas on arrival or through online application, making it easier for expatriates living in the region to travel to Bahrain.
Since the launch of the visa policy update, Indian visitors were issued the highest number of e-visas out of all newly eligible countries, where data from October 2014 to February 2015 revealed that 752 Indian nationals received e-visas to the Kingdom of Bahrain, 33% of the approximately 2,300 e-visas issued to nationals from 32 newly eligible countries.
A number of leading Indian companies have established offices or facilities in Bahrain to access the fast-growing GCC market, including: Chemco, RBH MEDEX, First Flight Couriers Ltd, Ion Exchange, Pythhos Technology, Equitec Software Technology, Sun Shed Energy, JBF Industries, Canara Bank, Tech Mahindra, HDFC Bank Ltd, Bank of Baroda, Tata Consultancy Services, ICICI Bank and State Bank of India.
For Further information please contact:
Bahrain Economic Development Board
Tel: +973 17589966