UAE firm to set up agro-park in Karnataka

Bangalore, Aug 23 : UAE-based Al Bariz Trading firm will soon set up an agro-park in Karnataka as a joint venture to grow food crops and horticulture products for exporting to the Gulf region.

An agreement to set up the joint venture with the Bangalore-based Aiman Agro Flora Ltd was signed here Friday on the margins of a day-long conference on 'Transcending Arabian Borders' (TAB 2013), organised by the Indo-Arab Chamber of Commerce (IACC).

The proposed joint venture will also set up a nursery in greenhouses to grow saplings of vegetables and fruits that can be shipped to Arab states for replanting and cultivation under controlled climatic conditions.

"Land will be identified for the agro-park near Bangalore, which enjoys a salubrious climate round the year and is suitable to grow a variety of agro-products and flowers," IACC executive director Asif Iqbal told IANS.

Inaugurating the maiden TAB event, Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) K.H. Muniyappa said India had close cultural and trade relations with the Arab world over the centuries.

"Our people have invested in the Arab world from Oman to Egypt and much of our overseas trade passes through the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden," Muniyappa told about 300 delegates, including 250 members of the IACC and 40 delegates from 11 Arab countries.

Noting that India's bilateral trade with the 23 Arab states had increased to USD 110 billion in 2012 and where 4.5 million Indian expats live and work, Muniyappa said his ministry would explore investment and trade opportunities in the Gulf region for the Indian MSME sector.

"We will soon sign agreements with the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries to set up MSMEs in the Arab states for developing the sector with investments, skill development and capital equipment to replicate the success we have in India," the minister said.

Speaking on the occasion, Brunei ambassador Datuk Sadek Ali invited the Indian MSME entrepreneurs to invest in his oil-rich country in diverse sectors, including pharma and agriculture.

A women's wing of the chamber was also unveiled on the occasion, with Usha Krishnakumar as president and Bharati Sridar as secretary.

Usha is wife of former central minister and IACC chairman S. Krishna Kumar.

--IANS (Posted on 23-08-2013)

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