Mr Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Govt. of India, today while inviting the Saudi Arabian Sovereign Wealth Funds to invest in the GIFT City, Gandhinagar said that it has a very simplified regulatory mechanism with tax breaks and has created seamless movement for funds to move in and out. “It would give a leg-up on the flow of investments to India if you (Saudi Arabia) invest there,” he added.
Addressing the ‘India-Saudi Investment Forum’, organized by FICCI, jointly with DPIIT and the Ministry of Investment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr Goyal added that India will open its investment office in Saudi Arabia. “Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City official will be sent to Saudi Arabia and FICCI in partnership with Invest India and Ministry of Commerce and Industry will setup Investment & Trade Promotion office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,” he said and further highlighted that they will together work to handhold and work to encourage Startup ecosystem.
Mr Goyal also expressed hope to kick start greater flow of investments and double the bilateral trade between the two nations to reach $ 100 billion from $ 52 billion currently along with more balance of trade between India and Saudi Arabia. “India can look at providing the food security to Saudi Arabia while Saudi Arabia helps us by providing more security in energy, oil, fertilizers,” he stated.
H.E. Khalid A. Al Falih, Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia said, “The future lies with the young people, the startups, innovators and entrepreneurs and we need to ensure that we don’t give all of our attention only to big national champions, MNCs. We work to create fertile ground for entrepreneurship as in the next 10-15 years some of them will become our national champions for both the nations.”
The Minister also stated that we will open office in India for investment facilitation and our investment offices will also be facilitators for outbound investments. With in the next few weeks, we will send a strong delegation to GIFT City for potential opportunities along with identifying Delhi, Mumbai or GIFT City for opening our new office, he noted.
“We will offer both physical and digital space to setup Startup Bridge in Riyadh and not only access partners from Saudi Arabia, but we will work with our VCs and in next few weeks create a joint agreement with our National Venture Capital Fund and with Indian counterparts to fund startups,” the Minister added.
Mr Subhrakant Panda, President, FICCI said, “India-Saudi Arabia relation is a strategic partnership rooted in the history. Common interests in energy security, infrastructure, and technology has given momentum to the bilateral relationship. While trade has doubled in just five years, it is still just a fraction of the potential. There are many areas where we can achieve significant progress by working together such as Green Hydrogen and Fintech.”
Mr Shailesh K Pathak, Secretary General, FICCI said, “As two fast-growing G20 countries, governments on both sides are creating the best path to more economic ties. It is up to us in the private sector to leverage the opportunity.”