New Delhi, September 11
Saudi Arabia today said it would soon set up an office at India’s Gujarat International Finance Tec City (GIFT City). Saudi Investment Minister Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih spoke about opening the office at the Saudi-India investment forum in New Delhi.
“We will send a strong delegation from Saudi Arabia to India in the next few weeks to set up an office of ‘sovereign wealth fund’ in GIFT City,” Al-Falih said.
The sovereign wealth fund, also known as the Public Investment Fund, manages over $700 billion in Saudi government money. The fund, established in 1971 by royal decree, currently has its headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and offices in Hong Kong, London and New York.
GIFT City is India’s tax-neutral financial services centre and business district under construction in Gandhinagar district of Gujarat. In response, Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, who was sharing stage with the Saudi minister, said India would look into opening an office in Riyadh and suggested the same to the ‘Invest India’ organisation.
Goyal said trade between the two countries could be doubled, which stood at about $52 billion. Goyal spoke about opportunities wherein India may provide food security to Saudi Arabia while energy, oil and fertilisers may be provided to India, stressing on balanced trade.
Goyal said it was time to accelerate the investment coming from Saudi Arabia. He said the FDI from Saudi Arabia last year was just about $4 billion, which was $2.8 billion during the Covid period. Meanwhile, more memoranda of understanding were signed between India and Saudi Arabia companies, ranging from information technology to agriculture, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and human resources among other sectors. These MoUs were signed between private companies of both countries, including the Serum Institute of India, HP, VFS Global and others.
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