The Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), the Gulf countrys investment promotion agency, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for jointly promoting innovation in FinTech, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and related emerging fields.
Ashok Kurian Panjikaran, Manager, Business Development, KSUM, and Dharmi Magdani, Regional Director, India, Bahrain EDB, exchanged the MoU on the sidelines of the 39th annual GITEX Technology Week held in Dubai. The agreement aims at building business opportunities for each countrys start-ups in the others market.
The initiative will facilitate development and growth of FinTech and ICT start-ups and centres through support from technology hubs such as Bahrain Fintech Bay, Brinc Batelco IoT Accelerator, Flat6 Labs Bahrain, Brilliant Lab and KSUM Hub.
Areas of cooperation
The scope of cooperation includes facilitation of delegation visits to Bahrain and India. There will be collaboration on knowledge exchange and enhancing cooperation between financial and technological institutions, universities and research institutions, technology experts, and government agencies.
The MoU is also meant for exploration of innovation projects in areas such as digital and mobile payments, Blockchain and distributed ledgers, Big Data and other emerging areas in FinTech and ICT.
Building a robust ecosystem where FinTech start-ups and IT firms can access and engage with critical soft infrastructure such as universities, financial institutions, and government agencies will be a key enabler for growth and innovation in the FinTech and ICT sectors, said Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM, in a press note.
These are priority areas for both Kerala and Bahrain, and we are excited to build even further upon where we are already seeing incredible growth with this timely new partnership, he added. This is an excellent opportunity for Kerala start-ups to take advantage of Bahrains thriving ecosystem, Ms Magdani said.
With the lowest set-up and operating costs, some of the most-advanced supportive infrastructure and one of the most skilled labour forces in the region, there is no better destination for start-ups seeking to access and scale across the growing $1.5 trillion GCC markets, she added.