The Bahrain Economic Development Board is inviting Indian firms to take advantage of the opportunities its country has to offer including for crypto businesses. The board has been collaborating with the Indian government on a number of issues. The Central Bank of Bahrain recently published its final rules on crypto activities.
Indian Companies Invited to Bahrain
The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) has invited Indian companies to set up base in its country by providing “a plethora of opportunities to Indian fintech firms for open banking, blockchain, crypto assets, robo advisory and remittances,” The Economic Times reported Sunday.
As the public agency responsible for attracting investment into Bahrain, the EDB has been collaborating with the Indian government on a number of business areas as well as improving the conditions of Indian workers in the Gulf state, the publication detailed. The EDB has established offices in New Delhi and Mumbai. Noting that India is a key market for his country, EDB Senior Manager Dalal Buhejji said that the board held a roadshow in Mumbai to attract fintech companies in December last year. EDB Managing Director Simon Galpin was quoted as saying:
We are very keen to tap into not only the early stage startups that are coming out of leading Indian cities, but also scale-ups. Bahrain is a great test market for companies which want to diversify outside of India.
Bahrain’s Crypto Regulation
The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) announced on Feb. 25 that it had issued the “final rules on a range of activities relevant to crypto-assets,” Trade Arabia reported, elaborating:
The CBB crypto-asset rules deal with the rules for licensing, governance, minimum capital, control environment, risk management, AML/CFT, standards of business conduct, avoidance of conflicts of interest, reporting, and cyber security for crypto-asset services.
Moreover, the publication detailed that the rules “also cover supervision and enforcement standards including those provided by a platform operator as a principal, agent, portfolio manager, adviser and as a custodian within or from Bahrain.” Companies licensed by the central bank including crypto exchanges will also need to follow “rules relevant to order matching, pre and post-trade transparency, measures to avoid market manipulation and market abuse, and conflicts of interest.”
Benefits to Maharashtra and Indian Companies
The EDB explained that there are many benefits for companies moving to Bahrain such as “a simplified licensing process for foreign corporation, taxation incentives, a welcoming environment and unlimited access to Gulf and Middle Eastern markets,” Outlook India wrote. The board added that “It is also looking to create enabling ecosystem for startups, including viable financing options,” the news outlet conveyed.
In December last year, the government of the Indian state of Maharashtra signed a memorandum of understanding with the EDB to provide a cooperative framework to promote the fintech sector in both countries. Under the agreement, the two governments will “collaborate in encouraging delegation visits, fintech educational programs, and cooperation between startups, financial institutions, government agencies, and universities,” Startup Bahrain described.
Maharashtra is home to some of India’s best cities for crypto jobs. Recent data from job listing site Indeed shows that Pune, the second largest city in the state, ranks second for the number of crypto jobs, behind only Bengaluru. Mumbai, the largest city in the state, ranks seventh this year. The Hindu Business Line reported in November that “India and Bahrain have a longstanding economic and trade relationship,” noting that “A large number of Indian businesses have already established operations in Bahrain.”
What do you think of the Indian government collaborating with Bahrain? Do you think Indian crypto businesses should set up base in Bahrain? Let us know in the comments section below.
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