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India-Bahrain Trade ‘On Track to Top USD 1 Billion in 2021’ Amid Post-pandemic Rebound

Bilateral trade could surge by up to $200 million in 2021, says economic expert

India-Bahrain trade increases by nearly 40% year-on-year in the first half of 2021

Trade between India and Bahrain could be set for a significant post-pandemic rebound over the next 12 months as the two countries continue to implement their financial recovery plans, according to one of the Kingdom’s leading economists.

Bahrain’s modern logistics infrastructure is helping to boost bilateral trade with the region and subcontinent

Dr. Ali Al Moulani, President of the Bahrain Economists Society, has forecast that bilateral trade between India and Bahrain could spike by as much as $200 million as economies reopen following months of logistical challenges and supply chain pressures.

Khalifa Bin Salman Port is a key trade hub in the Gulf and gateway to the West for many Indian companies

Bilateral trade between India and Bahrain dipped during the pandemic in 2020, where its value fell to $873 million. But new data from Bahrain’s eGovernment and Information Authority shows that bilateral trade between Bahrain and India in the first half of this year topped $492 million – a 37% increase on the same period in 2020.

Dr. Al Moulani said, “The trade balance between Bahrain and India could top $1 billion in 2021, which would take it up to levels not seen since 2018. Exports from India to Bahrain dipped during the pandemic but Indian businesses are now thinking about their recoveries. As businesses ramp up, we expect India-Bahrain trade to rebound to pre-pandemic levels relatively quickly. That could mean as much as a $100-$200 m surge over next year.”

“Modi’s ‘Look West’ policy is a major signal of intent, and we can expect trade and diplomatic ties between the GCC and India to deepen, and the vast Indian diaspora in the region serves as a channel for increasing trade flows. Bahrain will be at the centre of that and as the GCC opens again it is likely that this will generate tens of millions more dollars.”

“India has traditionally enjoyed a very strong trade relationship with Bahrain. Indian firms have long used the island Kingdom as a gateway to western markets,” said Dr. Al Moulani.

He added, “Sectors like healthcare are seeing increased activity from Indian firms. The GCCs proximity to the subcontinent, its world-class logistics infrastructure, and the fact it is home to some of the largest logistics operators makes it an easy win for Indian exporters.”

As well as excellent access to GCC markets, logistics and transport businesses in Bahrain enjoy duty free trade through Bahrain’s numerous FTAs, including the first ever US FTA with a GCC member. Bahrain also has the region’s best-value operating costs, up to 45% more cost effective than the rest of the region.

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