Minister of Commerce and Industry Hashim Yamani will head a 50-member Saudi delegation to the first-ever industrial conference to be held in Mumbai from February 17 to 18 between the Republic of India and the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), consisting of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates as well as Saudi Arabia. Similar conferences have been held with Japan, and with both the European Union and the United States. It is expected that number of bilateral agreements will be finalized during the conference, notably in areas such as information technology.
The GCC is India's second largest trading partner, with an annual average of U.S. $12.5 billion. India’s trade with the Kingdom is growing at around 15 percent a year, with $5.1 billion in 2003. The conference will provide an opportunity for businessmen to meet, exchange views, and plan a strategy for future economic, commercial and industrial cooperation. The focus will be on four areas: trade and investment, technology transfer, information technology and industrial cooperation for small and medium enterprises.