India and the Gulf countries have the opportunity to play a key role in each other’s bid to achieve accelerated economic growth, according to S M Krishna, External Affairs Minister of India.
Krishna told the global publishing, research and consultancy firm, Oxford Business Group (OBG) that the partnership between India and the GCC provided solid foundations for the two sides to build on as the Gulf countries embarked upon knowledge-based economic expansion.
“India and the Gulf have historically enjoyed close relations. Both regions aspire to similar objectives, including accelerated economic development and inclusive growth. India and the GCC therefore have a lot to learn from each other,” he said.
The full interview with Krishna will appear in a range of OBG’s forthcoming country reports which are set to explore the economic activity and investment opportunities across the Gulf.
The group’s publications will include a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for foreign investors, together with a wide range of interviews with leading national and international political, economic and business leaders.
Krishna said India’s business leaders could provide an insight into how the country’s move to liberalise its markets through economic reforms had paved the way for more forward-looking industry and service sectors.
He added that India would benefit from the GCC’s expertise across a range of sectors, including agriculture, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and science. Krishna also highlighted the benefits that both sides would gain from stepping up cooperation on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). “This is an area that offers us many possibilities to gain from each other’s strengths,” he said. The minister said that although the GCC had become one of India’s largest trading partners, certain areas of cooperation, such as bilateral manufacturing, remained largely untapped. He added that the free trade agreement (FTA) which India and the GCC were drawing up should boost economic cooperation between the two sides.
“The GCC is the leading origin of imports and one of the largest destinations of Indian exports. GCC investment in India has also significantly increased in recent years,” he said.
“Negotiations are in progress to finalise a FTA, which will further strengthen the mutually beneficial economic ties between us,” he said. OBG’s country reports mark the culmination of more than six months of on-the-ground research by the group’s analysts. They provide information on opportunities for foreign direct investment and act as a guide to the many facets of the country including its macroeconomics, infrastructure banking and sectoral developments. The reports can be viewed online and are also available in print form.