Agencies / Riyadh
Saudi-India Business meeting was held in Riyadh with focus on infrastructure projects which is part of the mega development project ‘Vision 2030’, launched by the Kingdom that is planning to shift from a oil based economy to an industrial manufacturing-based productive economy.
Indian side was led by Manoj K Bharti, Additional Secretary, ED Division, Ministry of External Affairs, and Government of India while the Saudi delegation was headed by Kamel S. Almunajjed, Chairman of Saudi Indian Business Council
Speaking to the Indian delegation, the Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Javed, said that there are important changes taking place in Saudi Arabia and India is one of the 8 countries on the preferred list of Saudi Arabia. More proactive participation from Indian companies for business, trade and regional cooperation in being welcomed.
Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, promised that the Government of India is committed to work for enhancing the relationship between the two countries and the Indian companies in this delegation are more than willing to bring their professional expertise to Saudi Arabia.
The meeting was attended by top officials and CEOs of companies of Saudi Arabia.
The Indian delegation is being represented by several leading infra and housing companies.
Construction for housing and infrastructure is a booming sector in Saudi Arabia with mega projects like NEOM, Qiddiya and Red Sea Entertainment being set up. There is also great opportunity for India to explore in the entertainment sector as the Saudi Government is aiming to curb the flow of people of Saudi abroad for leisure and entertainment and attract foreign tourists to Saudi Arabia.
Representatives of 30 top infrastructure companies, housing and allied sectors including Hiranandani Group, Tata Projects, Afcons, L&T, Waaree, VA Tech Wabag, MMS Enterprises Ltd., Shalimar Corp Ltd, and ACME Group are part of delegation to Saudi Arabia to explore possible contracts and investment opportunities in the $500 billion futuristic mega city Project “NEOM” and the Red Sea Tourism Project.
The infrastructure projects are part of the Kingdom’s initiative to expand their economy through major structural changes and mega projects like NEOM, new roads/railroads, airports and sea ports and Qiddiya entertainment city.
According to officials Indian firms from infrastructure, housing and allied sectors, stand an excellent chance to benefit from business contracts and investment opportunities that are opening up.
The Vision 2030, announced by the young Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, has a potential to expand the Kingdom’s economy through major structural changes and mega projects like NEOM, new railroads, airports and sea ports and Qiddiya entertainment city.
Saudi Arabia is the fourth largest trading partner for India with bilateral trade exceeding $ 25 billion in 2016-17. As India’s largest supplier of crude oil, Saudi Arabia accounts for about 20% of country’s total annual imports.
About 3.2 million strong and vibrant Indian community sending $10 billion of annual remittances back home forms the largest expatriate group in Saudi Arabia. Their positive and well-appreciated contribution in the development of their host country has been an important element of India-Saudi Arabia bilateral engagement.