Spotlight on Saudi investments abroad: Is India the next frontier?
Though the trade between India and Saudi Arabia reached $43.17 billion in 2012-2013, registering a growth of 35.14 percent over the previous financial year, the level of investments on both sides, however, is still very low, according to Consul General Faiz Ahmad Kidwai, who is also vice patron of SIBN (Saudi Indian Business Network).
Addressing a seminar on foreign direct investments (FDI) in India and the taxation system at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) on Sunday, Kidwai thanked Mazen Batterjee, vice chairman of JCCI and president of SIBN, for the opportunity to conduct the seminar at the chamber premises. He extended congratulations for the “very successful” Jeddah Economic Forum that was held recently.
Kidwai stated that Indian investments in Saudi Arabia till date amount to about $1.6 billion with some other large investments in the pipeline. Whereas Saudi investments in India totaled about $228 million till last year.
“It is quite an appalling situation as Saudi Arabia has about a $1 trillion worth sovereign fund, which is lying safe for investment, and India has a huge domestic market to ensure profitable investments,” he added.
“I feel that there is a need for the two countries to understand each other and to, more importantly, believe in each other. It is with this intention for dissemination of information among Saudi businessmen that we are organizing this seminar,” he added.
He recounted that during his visit to the Kingdom in January Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram discussed the importance of Saudi investments in India and presented some very specific projects for investment there. These include the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor which is a huge project being implemented with the help of the Japanese government, and certain petrochemical complexes at Dahej in Gujarat, at Mangalore in Karnataka and also in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Orissa. “These could be of interest to Saudi investors,” said Kidwai.
By Habib Shaikh
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