Bahrain - Top Indian ICT companies are considering to set up new bases in Bahrain or expand their existing offices in the Kingdom, it was revealed at a B2B and networking event at the Embassy of India, Bahrain.

Representatives of major Indian IT firms, who were part of a delegation of Nasscom, an association of Indian IT sector firms, to Bahrain, expressed their keenness to explore opportunities provided by the kingdom.

The event was organised by the Bahrain India Society (BIS) and Bahrain Technology Companies Society (BTECH) in association with the Embassy of India, Bahrain and Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) on Sunday.

The Nasscom delegation, during its two-day visit to the kingdom, met several industry partners, stakeholders and government agencies to explore business cooperation and investment opportunities.

The delegation comprised representatives of leading Indian IT companies including HCL Technologies, ITC Infotech, Tata Consultancy Services, Mastek Limited, Nagarro Software and Addteq Software India Private Limited. The event was attended by a number of Bahraini companies from the sector.

The Indian delegation members highlighted the warm welcome they received in Bahrain and the professional and investor-friendly approach of Bahrain officials and businessmen. They also saw great potential for investment and cooperation with Bahraini firms.

The event was addressed by Abdulnabi Alshoala, former Bahraini Minister for Labour and Social Affairs and founding President of Bahrain India Society; Musab Abdullah, Executive Director of Investment Development, EDB; Abdulrahman Juma, Chairman, Bahrain India Society; Rashid Al Snan, Treasurer, BTECH; Ravi Kumar Jain, Second Secretary (Commerce), Embassy of Bahrain; Mayank Gautam, leader of the Nasscom delegation and S M Hussaini, Board Member, BTECH.

Bahrain, with several initiatives in the field of ICT and digital economy and business and investment friendly climate, provides excellent opportunities for Indian IT companies which are focusing to invest internationally to expand global footprint and enhance their global delivery centres. Due to its strategic location, Bahrain has potential to serve as hub for Indian IT companies to serve the whole GCC and MENA region, officials said.

Welcoming the gathering, Ravi Kumar Jain, Second Secretary (Commerce), Embassy of Bahrain, said: "India and Bahrain enjoy historical, close trade and commercial relations, going back thousands of years. These relations have strengthened over the years, and have now diversified into new areas of cooperation."

He said during the year 2021-22, bilateral trade between the two countries had crossed $1.5 billion, the highest ever level figure. With a total cumulative investment of over $1.25 billion, India is the sixth largest investor in Bahrain.

Some of Indian start-ups in the IT sector are already backed by Bahraini investment companies, he highlighted.

As Indian companies are focusing to invest internationally to expand their global footprint and enhance their global delivery centres, Bahrain provides an excellent opportunity for them, he said.

"Bahrain offers an investment and business friendly climate, liberal and welcoming society and its strategic location provides excellent opportunities for Indian companies for trade and investment. Bahrain is an excellent gateway to the whole GCC and MENA region," he said.

There is great interest in Bahrain to engage with Indian IT companies, he added.

India, which has earned the reputation of IT Superpower, is expected to grow the size of its IT Industry to a whopping $227 billion this year. Exports from the Indian IT industry stood at $149 billion in FY 21.

The total count of Indian tech startups that have entered the unicorn club (valuation of $1 billion or more), to date, stands at 100. India has already seen 14 new unicorns in the year 2022.

The Indian companies briefed the participants about their company profile and interest in the region followed by a networking session.

Representatives of companies from both Bahrain and India discussed business and investment opportunities in the key sectors of IT, big data and fintech. 

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