MUMBAI: Saudi Arabia’s state-run shipping company Bahri plans to expand its business in India, encouraged the country’s consistent economic growth and its focus on manufacturing, its chief executive said.
“We are very committed now to the Indian market. It’s very promising. India’s GDP is about 7%, which is excellent compared to any other country’s growth. Analysts believe it will be 6%-7% for the next 4-5 years,” Ibrahim Al-Omar told ET in an interview.
The shipping major handles complete transportation for Saudi Arabian national oil company, Aramco and has been associated with Indian corporates like Reliance Oil in the crude oil transportation segment. It counts Tata and the Mahindra groups among its breakbulk services clients. Break bulk is a system of transporting cargo in separate pieces, rather than in containers.
Omar added that increasing exports of automobiles and grater impetus on manufacturing bodes well for the company in India.
Bahri is also the exclusive break-bulk carrier for the Ministry of Defence in Saudi and the company is open to exploring options like that in India.
Al Omar said that while the company has worked with Indian clients for long through agents, setting up an office would mean better connectivity with its existing and potential customers.
Bahri is the second largest owner of Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) in the world, and the largest owner of chemical tankers in the Middle East. Presently, the company owns 84 vessels, including 37 VLCCs, 36 chemical/product tankers, 6 multipurpose vessels, and 5 dry-bulk carriers with additional 9 VLCCs on order.