Bangalore, Aug 21: The Indo-Arab Chamber of Commerce (IACC) is hosting a trade meet Friday here to explore investment and business opportunities in India and the Gulf region by its members, entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises.
“About 40 delegates, including industrialists, businessmen, investors and policy makers from 20 Arab states are participating in the day-long conference Transcending Arab Borders (TAB) 2013 to discuss joint ventures, collaborative projects and partnerships,” chamber executive director Asif Iqbal told IANS Wednesday.
With offices in Dubai and Muscat in Oman, the IACC has about 330 members, including 130 from Arab states, who jointly generate about Rs.100 crore trade comprising merchandise, engineering goods and services.
The participating Arab and African states include Bahrain, Brunei, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and UAE.
“Our Indian members and entrepreneurs, especially in the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, can also explore investing in the Arab world through the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), as the sector plays a vital role in improving the quality of life in both societies,” Iqbal said.
The annual conference will also focus on technology and competence and address issues of the Indian SMEs, which are looking at setting up or expanding their businesses in the Arab and African states.
Among the visiting dignitaries are industrialist Galfar Mohammed Ali, advisor to Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said, heads of Saudi Arabia investment authority, Bahrain economic development, Qatar steel trade group and Brunei ambassador to India.
“Our objective is to enlarge the SME base in West Asia and broaden the enterprise base through growth and expansion. Be it a start-up, or a plan to expand in the Gulf market, we will provide a platform to explore investment opportunities,” Iqbal said.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will unveil the event, while technocrat Sam Pitroda, advisor to prime minister on public information infrastructure and innovations, will address the 250-odd delegates.
Union Minister of State for SMEs K.H. Muniyappa, Union Minister for Transport & Highways Oscar Fernandes, former Union Minister and Congress lawmaker Mani Shankar Aiyer and Art of Living founder Ravi Shankar will participate in the deliberations.