Saudi, Indian firms explore investment options

February 24th, 2011 - 8:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) Capitalising on excellent political relations and high economic growth, private companies from India and Saudi Arabia are exploring investment opportunities in each other countries, officials said Thursday. “We have excellent political and economic relations. But investment and trade data is not satisfactory. There are a lot of unexploited opportunities,” Abdulrahman Al-Rabiah, chairman of India-Saudi Arabia Joint Business Council, said at a business meeting here.

He said private companies from both the countries are actively exploring business and investment opportunities.

“Saudi Arabia is confident of attracting Indian investment because it is the largest market in West Asia. Businesses have to take the lead and work with the government,” Rabiah said at a meeting organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

Rabiah, who is leading a 24-member business delegation to India, said the council was encouraging the private sector of both the countries to engage more deeply.

“Investment and business opportunities from India in the areas of education, information technology, tourism, health care, biotechnology, telecommunications and automobiles should be explored,” he said.

Indian companies have invested $2.07 billion in Saudi Arabia between 2000-2009 while Saudi Arabia has invested $29.81 million in India so far.

India-Saudi economic relations have shown remarkable growth with bilateral trade registering a three-fold increase in the last five years. Bilateral trade of the two countries was nearly $21 billion in 2009-10.

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to India Faisal Hassan Ahmed Trad said the government of both the countries were taking all necessary steps to facilitate private investment and trade.

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