Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Startup Mission and Bahrain Economic Development Board, the Gulf state's investment promotion agency, have signed an MoU for jointly promoting innovation in FinTech, Information and Communications Technology and related emerging fields.
Ashok Kurian Panjikaran, Manager, Business Development, KSUM, and Dharmi Magdani, Regional Director, India, Bahrain EDB, exchanged the Memorandum of Understanding on the sidelines of the 39th annual GITEX Technology Week in Dubai.
The agreement aims at building business opportunities for each country's startups in others market, an official statement said here.
The initiative will facilitate development and growth of FinTech and ICT startups and centres through support from technology hubs such as Bahrain Fintech Bay, Brinc Batelco IoT Accelerator, Flat6 Labs Bahrain, Brilliant Lab and KSUM Hub, it said.
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, it said.
The MoU is also meant for exploration of innovation projects in areas such as digital and mobile payments, blockchain and distributed ledgers, big data, flexible platforms (API), AML, eKYC, and other emerging areas in FinTech and ICT.
"Building a robust ecosystem where FinTech startups 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, on the pact.
"These are priority areas for both Kerala and Bahrain, and we are immensely 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 startups to take advantage of Bahrains thriving ecosystem," Magdani said.
"With the lowest setup 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 startups seeking to access and scale across the growing $1.5 trillion GCC markets", she added.
Pakiza Abdulrahman, Manager of Business Development - Startup at the EDB, said the partnership with KSUM would encourage greater collaboration between entrepreneurs and innovators in both countries.
KSUM is the nodal agency for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.