Nearly 20 Arab states have pledged to improve the welfare of minorities in Karnataka with financial aid to young entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises and for empowering women.
"About 20 Arab nations in West Asia and Africa have committed to grant Rs.8 million this year to fund minority entrepreneurs, help young women become self-reliant and educate the youth," Indo-Arab Chamber of Commerce executive director Asif Iqbal told IANS.
Among the states that have pledged help are Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
A delegation of the chamber recently met Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah here and offered support to the government's various minority programmes.
With offices in Dubai and Muscat, the chamber has about 330 members, including 130 from across the Arab states.
"We assured the state government that we will facilitate more investment to Karnataka from the Arab world," Iqbal said.
"A 250-member trade delegation from the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) will visit the state to participate in the TAB (Transcending Arabian Borders) 2013 conference here in August," he said.