India-Arab League Cooperation Ministerial meeting held
(Manama) – UAE Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chaired the UAE’s delegation to the First Ministerial Meeting of the India-Arab League Cooperation Forum, hosted by the Bahraini capital, Manama.
A number of issues such as terrorism, regional security concerns and economic, trade, investment, energy and scientific cooperation, will top the agenda of the meeting.
A panel of Arab and Indian experts met in New Delhi and prepared a vision for the future Arab-Indian relations, with the two sides hoping that the Manama meeting will contribute to boosting bilateral cooperation ties, taking these to broader horizons.
Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa said in his welcome address that archaeological, social and historical testimonies affirm the ongoing interaction between Arab and Indian civilisations, and the age-old and deep-rooted ties between the Arab states and India. The present affirms the strong and outstanding relations of friendship and cooperation between the two sides, and the future promises further bolstering of, backing and expanding these ties.
‘Current indicators give us the confidence that the Arab-Indian cooperation is embarking on a promising future, in view of the great financial and human capabilities between the two sides as well as the tangible progress witnessed in these relations, particularly after the establishment of the Arab-Indian Cooperation Forum in 2008 which aims, amongst other things, to further strengthen the economic, trade and financial cooperation and to ease the launch of joint ventures between the two sides. Among them are the Indian-Arab cultural weeks, the Conference of Arab and Indian Universities’ Presidents, the India-Arab Cooperation Forum in the field of energy, the India-Arab Cooperation Forum in the media field and the Indo-Arab partnership conference in the field of investment, whose latest session India hosted in November 2014,’ Sheikh Khalid said.
The economic cooperation between the Arab countries and the Republic of India, he added, had witnessed a remarkable progress over the past few years as the value of bilateral trade reached around 200 billion dollars in 2014. The trade exchange between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Republic of India, in particular, reached over 253 million Bahraini dinars in 2014.
‘We need to make further efforts to be able to advance trade and economic relations between the two sides, give due attention to investment, as both sides provide many opportunities in this regard, such as investment in projects relating to energy, information technology, sciences, technologies and environmental protection,’ he said.
He indicated that the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Arab countries and their Indian counterparts could also play a vital role in encouraging and developing cooperation between the two sides in the economic and investment fields.