Gulf Council-India meeting in Saudi to boost trade ties

New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) The fourth edition of the Gulf Cooperation Council-India Industrial Forum on November 18-19 in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah will focus on promoting trade, investment and collaborations between the two regions, an official statement said on Tuesday.

“The forum will explore cooperation between India and GCC in diverse areas such as IT, healthcare, oil, gas, renewable energy, food security and manufacturing,” said the council, a regional political organisation comprising the energy-rich Gulf monarchies – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Estimate (UAE).

Organised by the participating governments in association with India Inc and chambers of commerce from the Saudi kingdom, the event will be inaugurated jointly by Saudi Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq F. Al-Rabia and and his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman at King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah on the theme of “Opportunities and Challenges”.

“The forum will provide industrial and economic updates, sharing information, networking opportunities with key players, identifying strategic partners and renew business prospects,” the statement noted.

The forum features keynote, plenary and parallel sessions from political leaders, key policy makers, thought leaders and captains of the industries.

Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry chairman Sheikh Saleh A. Kamel, GCC secretary-general Abdullah R.Al-Zyane, GCC Chambers president Sheikh Kalifa J. Al-Thani and Council of Saudi Chambers chairman Abdul Rahman A. Al-Zamel will address the inaugural session on “Promising Investment Opportunities in GCC & India”.

The statement said that the GCC, as a collective entity, holds huge economic as well as geo-political significance for India as its countries are moving ahead with their economic integration efforts, and as the grouping has emerged as a major trading partner for India, it has vast potential to be India’s investment partner in the future.

“The first plenary session will seek to identify promising sectors for investment between India and the GCC and suggest a roadmap to facilitate this process,” the statement added.

The first three editions of the forum were held in Mumbai in 2004, second at Muscat in Oman in 2006 and third again in Mumbai in 2007.

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