Doha Bank hosts informational session in India

Doha Bank held an informational session on opportunities in Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) with India's business leaders and officials in Kolkata, India, on July 11.

Those attending the session included Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) Director General P. Roy; BCGI President Alok Roy; India Minister for Municipal Affairs and Urban Development Firhad Hakim; and BCCI President Designate and KPMG Advisory Services Partner and Eastern Regional Leader and Head of Management Consulting  Ambarish Dasgupta.

Dasgupta spoke on "Industry perspective: Inside out."

"India is making good progress in certain fields such as pharmaceuticals, automobiles (and)  IT sector," Dasgupta said. 

During a recent visit to the GCC, Dasgupta said he noticed UAE interest in participating in West Bengal projects. He said some West Benga were falling behind in upkeep and projects due to a lack of financing.

"West Bengal has been having a large number of SME (small and medium size enterprise) companies and they have really not worked up to their potentials," he said. "Many of them need appropriate financing from banks and other financial institutions so that they are made viable and self-sustaining."

Doha Bank CEO R. Seetharaman spoke about the global economy.

"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," Seetharaman said. "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."

Seetharaman also spoke about BRICS Bank. "The 7th BRICS Summit took place last week in which they launched the BRICS development bank to finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects," he said.

On Qatar's economy as a whole, Seetharaman said, "Qatar's economy is 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 the previous year. 

"SMEs are the backbone for Qatar economy and they can participate in Qatar's non-hydrocarbon diversification," he noted. "We want Indian SMEs to come to Qatar and also facilitate their investments."

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