Bahrain – India Economic Relations: Past and Present

Bahrain - India Economic Relations: Past and Present

Following the successful conclusion of the third iteration of the India-Bahrain High Joint Commission Meeting (held on April 07, 2021), the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies – Derasat (Bahrain) and the Observer Research Foundation (India) jointly organised a webinar on identifying emergent convergences for expanding India-Bahrain bilateral cooperation. In line with the takeaways of the HJC meeting, the webinar underscored nascent avenues for economic cooperation in the domains of oil and gas, trade and investment, health, renewable energy, education, and digital technologies.


Link to Rapporteur Report

Webinar recording

Ambassador Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa

Career Diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service & Former Indian Ambassador

Ambassador Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa has been a distinguished career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. She was the first Indian woman to be appointed Ambassador to the Gulf State and later Japan. She has also been India’s Ambassador to Sweden, Latvia and Republic of Marshall Islands. Earlier, she served twice in China, besides stints in Switzerland and Netherlands. She was instrumental in the active promotion of India’s economic interests in the areas of trade, technology, investments and energy security. While with the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, she has held the charge of Joint Secretary responsible for Indian relations with the United Nations and its agencies, including development related programmes of UNICEF, ILO, UNDP, WHO etc. in India

Ambassador Prof. (Dr.) Mohan Kumar

Career Diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service & Former Indian Ambassador

Ambassador Prof. (Dr.) Mohan Kumar had an outstanding career in the Indian Foreign Service lasting 36 years, which culminated in his being India’s Ambassador to France based in Paris. Under his watch, the Indo-French strategic partnership was strengthened and consolidated further in spheres such as defense, space, nuclear & solar energy, smart cities and investment. Earlier, Mohan Kumar was India’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain where he witnessed and dealt with a strategically complex region characterized by events such as the “Arab Spring”. Ambassador Dr. Mohan Kumar has enormous expertise in the area of international trade — he was India’s lead negotiator first at the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and then at the WTO (World Trade Organization) in crucial areas such as Intellectual Property Rights, Services, Dispute Settlement, Rules and Technical Barriers to Trade. He was a leading member of India’s delegation at the WTO Ministerial Conferences held in Marrakesh (1994), Seattle (1999) and Doha (2001).

Mr. K.G. Baburajan

Chairman & GM, BKG Holding SPC, Bahrain

Mr. K.G. Baburajan has played a pivotal role in the development of the Kingdom of Bahrain for the past four decades. Starting with Saudi-Bahrain Causeway, he has shaped the infrastructure of the Kingdom with Shaikh Khalifa Port, Airport Terminal Modernization, Almoayyed Tower, Shaikh Isa Bridge, Sitra Bridge, and many others. He is regarded as the technical expert to the courts in Bahrain on various civil engineering related problems like building collapses, disputes between clients, consultants, contractors and suppliers.  He is the only Indian member of the US based International Accreditation Service, tasked with accreditation of calibration and testing laboratories worldwide and a part of this prestigious scientific body’s accreditation and technical evaluation committee. An Indian at heart, dedicated to the development of his home country as well as the Kingdom, his contributions display the strong bond shared by both countries. He is well-known for his philanthropy and service to the community in Bahrain and in India. The Indian Government has bestowed the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 2021 for service to the community.

Mr. Yousuf Salahuddin

Businessman, Researcher and Writer, Bahrain

Mr. Yousuf Salahuddin Ebrahim Salahuddin is a businessman, researcher and writer whose name is associated with aviation, history and trade. He has contributed to philanthropy and is an active member of some committees of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other associations. He was born in Manama on February 12, 1951, continued his higher studies in Egypt and Cyprus, and became the first Bahraini pilot to receive the FAA Commercial Aviation Certificate. He established own business in 1972 and takes great interest in local, regional and international events and writes some articles in Arabic and English languages in newspapers like Akhbar Al Khaleej, Al Ayam and Gulf Daily News.


Dr. Omar Al-Ubaydli

Director of Studies & Research, Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat)

Omar Al-Ubaydli is Director of Studies and Research, and Director of Economics and Energy Studies. He previously worked as an Assistant Professor of Economics at George Mason University, USA, as well as being a member of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s Joint Advisory Board of Economists. Dr. Al-Ubaydli received his BA in Economics from the University of Cambridge (Queens’ College) and his MA and PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago. Dr. Al-Ubaydli’s research has been published in several international, peer-reviewed journals and has been featured by media outlets including the Economist magazine.

Mahmood Abdulghaffar Analyst


Mahmood Abdul Ghaffar

Research Associate, Derasat

Mahmood is a Research Associate with the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat) since September 2011 and currently works in the Strategic and International Studies Department. Mahmood’s research interests include international geopolitics, Arab Gulf-China relations, Middle East regional security and Arab Gulf-Sino relations. He completed the First Deputy Prime Minister Fellowship Program in 2017. Mahmood previously worked as an intern with the United Nations Development Program and Ernst & Young. He has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Sharjah, UAE, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the American University in Washington DC.

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