GCC and Indian SME cooperation 'vital'

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The growing opportunities between SMEs in Indian and across the GCC are “vital for bilateral sustainability”, according to Group CEO of Doha Bank, Dr Raghavan Seetharaman.

Speaking at the India SME Business Conclave, Seetharamen also said business connectivity could be improved if SMEs improved their competitiveness, as well as praising the increase in bilateral trade between India and the GCC which has risen from $145b in 2011-2012, to $158b in 2012-2013.

He said: “Exports to India have increased from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. Similarly imports from India have increased. India is also in talks with members of the Gulf Co-operation Council to conclude a free trade agreement.

“Increasing bilateral trade can give opportunities for SMEs to explore the GCC market. Growing opportunities between GCC and Indian SMEs is vital for bilateral sustainability.

Seetharamen also gave his audience an insight into areas which are worth investigating, adding: “Fast moving consumer goods are segments which Indian SMEs can look to explore. Other sectors include petrochemicals, infrastructure, and agriculture and food processing.”

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