India is looking at GCC states, notably Qatar, with great expectation and is hoping to improve trade, a senior official of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) told Gulf Times yesterday.
“There has been a massive growth in India’s business with Middle East nations and it is poised to grow in view of the growing requirements of both the sides,” Ficci additional director (Arab states & Central Europe) Goutam Ghosh said.
He was speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of the business to business meeting organised by Ficci in association with the local Indian Business Promotion Network (IBPN) at Ramada Plaza hotel yesterday.
“For instance, while Indo-Qatar trade was worth only $1.1bn in 2005, it grew to approximately $5.6bn at the end of the first quarter of this year,” Ghosh pointed out.
The Ficci official said India is focusing on expanding its share in the small and medium enterprises (SME) segment which the country considers the strength and backbone of its economy.
“More than 60% of our industry comprises SMEs and their share is expected to grow further in coming years as more and more entrepreneurs are keen on investing in SMEs,” he said.
Ghosh observed that the trend in GCC states, including Qatar to shift focus from hydro-carbon industries will help attract more investors from countries like India.
“One of the top priorities of the Ficci-led ongoing mission is to increase India’s presence remarkably in the products and services sector,” he said. With more and more Indian companies showing interest in the region in diverse areas, India hopes to achieve better results in trade with the GCC states in the next few years.
India’s skill and expertise in a range of businesses which are familiar and beneficial to GCC entrepreneurs would help the countries record substantial economic growth in the next decade, felt the Ficci official. Even while seeking co-operation in setting up joint ventures in both countries, India would also help local entrepreneurs gain expertise and knowledge in areas appealing to the locals, said Ghosh.
While UAE used to serve as the hub of all business activities from India, now all the GCC states have built up direct trade with our country, said the Ficci spokesperson.
He felt that the response from the Qatari side to the meeting was really encouraging and that was evident from their participation in large numbers. “Members accompanying the delegation had a number of person to person level business meetings with the representatives of business houses,” pointed out Ghosh.
The Ficci official felt the growth being recorded by India at various levels has started getting wide acceptance in different countries and the participation of a large number of local businessmen in the meetings yesterday stood testimony to their increasing confidence in India’s delivering abilities.
Representatives of companies engaged in such areas of business interests as ship manufacturing, steel, drilling rigs, fire curtains, power generation, mining, water infrastructure and sewerage solutions, rice and other foodstuffs, spices, scaffolding systems, PVC pipes, electrical transformers, chemicals for petro-chemicals, construction equipment, herbals, plastic processing, container machinery, agro-industries, ship manufacturing, spices, fruits and vegetables, construction industry and polymer compounds are accompanying the Ficci-organised delegation.
Ghosh is leading a delegation, comprising officials of 19 Indian companies, which will also tour Oman. The team members will move to Muscat tonight after business to business meetings.
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