“Best Place to do Business is Qatar” – Indian SMEs informed at BCCI, India

Doha Bank hosted a knowledge sharing session on 11th July 2015 at Taj Bengal Hotel, Kolkata,India on “Opportunities in Qatar and GCC”. The key digniatires include Mr. P. Roy, Director-General, The Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry(BCCI), Mr. Alok Roy, President, BCCI , Hon’ble Mr. Firhad Hakim, Hon’ble Minister for Municipal Affairs and Urban Development and Mr. Ambarish Dasgupta, President Designate, BCCI & Partner and Head of Management Consulting and Eastern Regional Leader, KPMG Advisory Services.The session witnessed participation from Senior officials in major Indian Corporates and from Senior Bankers in India.

Mr. Ambarish Dasgupta spoke on “ Industry perspective: Inside out “. He said “India is making good progress in certain fields such as pharmaceuticals, automobiles, IT Sector. During his recent visit to the GCC, he observed that lot of interest was evidenced in the UAE to participate in the projects in the State of West Bengal. The Government in the State has been following a policy which is conducive to growth and development. Some of the major initiatives taken by the Government include the “Analytics City” in Calcutta. West Bengal has been having a large number of SME companies and they have really not worked upto their potentials. Many of them need appropriate financing from banks and other financial institutions so that they are made viable and self-sustaining”

On the Key note Address Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank gave insight on global economy. He said “According to IMF July 2015 outlook, global growth is forecasted at 3.3 percent in 2015, lower than 2014 with a gradual pickup in advanced economies and a slowdown in emerging market and developing economies. A setback to activity in the first quarter of 2015, mostly in North America, has resulted in a small downward revision to Advanced Economies and global growth for 2015. Growth in advanced economies is projected to increase to 2.1 percent in 2015.Growth in emerging market and developing economies is projected to 4.2 percent in 2015.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on BRICS Bank. He said “The 7th BRICS Summit happened last week in which they launched the BRICS development Bank to finance infrastructure and sustainable development” projects. They also agreed on $100bn currency reserve pool to protect emerging economies from currency volatility shocks. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has also been proposed by Chinese recently, members from Asia and European Region have evidenced interest in this Bank. Both BRICS Bank and AIIB and will change the way multilateral banks operate and will regard other international financial institutions such as IMF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank as partners.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on GCC- India Bilateral trade. He said “Imports of GCC from India have increased by 2% in 2014-15 when compared to PY to $49bn.Exports of GCC to India have decreased by 17% in 2014-15 when compared to PY to $84 bn. Overall trade to India has decreased by 11% in 2014-15 when compared to PY over $133bn. Qatar – India trade was close to $16bn in 2014-15.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on Qatar economy. He said “Qatar’s economy expected to grow by more than 7 percent in 2015. It grew by more than 4 percent during the first quarter of this year as compared with the same quarter last year. Construction was leading sector in terms of growth with Gross value added growing at more than 11 percent in first quarter when compared to same time previous year. The Non- Mining and Quarrying segment had grown by close to 9 percent in Q1 2015 when compared to same period previous year on account of diversification. Construction sector is expected to witness a double digit growth this year, thereby support non- hydrocarbon sector diversification.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on the opportunities for SMEs in India in Qatar. He said “SMEs are the back bone for Qatar economy and they can participate in Qatar’s non hydrocarbon diversification. We want Indian SMEs to come to Qatar and also facilitate their investments. A significant attraction for Indian SMEs to do business in gulf is ease of getting funds at rates far cheaper that what it costs in India. SME in India could take advantage of availing cheap credit from Doha Bank as 87 percent of its lending is guaranteed by the Qatar Government and it is an “A+” rated Bank. Hence the Best place for Indian SMEs to do business is Qatar.”

The event had a Question and Answer Session which was followed by Vote of thanks from BCCI Official and ended with a Dinner