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Indian delegation to explore contracts in $500 bn Saudi infra projects

An Indian delegation of top company representatives from the infrastructure, housing and allied sectors, as well as the entertainment industry, will be on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia beginning Tuesday to explore investment opportunities in the $500 billion mega city projects being executed in the Kingdom, an official said here.

A Union Commerce Ministry release on Monday said that the tour has been organised by the Economic Diplomacy Division of India’s External Affairs Ministry (MEA). The delegation to Riyadh will be led by MEA Additional Secretary Manoj Bharti.

The infrastructure projects are part of the Kingdom’s initiative to expand their economy through major structural changes and developing mega projects, new roads and railroads, airports, sea ports and tourism.

“The projects coming up in Saudi Arabia are part of ‘Vision 2030’, launched by the Kingdom, in order to shift from an oil-based economy to an industrial manufacturing-based productive economy,” the statement said.

“Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority has recently issued more than 400 licences to Indian firms. There is also scope for Indian companies to partner in the high-speed 450-km railway line linking Mecca and Medina and construction of an airport in Jeddah,” it added.

Indian investments in Saudi Arabia are worth $1.5 billion while Saudi Arabia has invested $16 million in India.

Saudi Arabia is the fourth largest trading partner of India with bilateral trade exceeding $25 billion in 2016-17. As India’s largest supplier of crude oil, Saudi Arabia accounts for about 20 per cent of India’s total annual imports.

The 3.2 million-strong Indian community is the largest expatriate group in Saudi Arabia and sends $10 billion in annual remittances back to India.

Written by Parkash Singh

IAS Aspirant's and Author and Publisher on Youth Darpan.

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