New Delhi: Saudi Arabia, which is on a drive to diversify its economy to reduce dependence on oil and gas, offers a massive investment opportunity of $1 trillion to Indian businesses that have expertise in infrastructure development and innovation, according to Saudi Indian Business Council chairman Kamel S Al-Munajjed.
Al-Munajjed, who accompanied Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his two-day visit to India that ended on Wednesday night, said Saudi Arabia’s economy was undergoing an unprecedented change and was on course to transform from an oil-based one to an innovation-based one. That needs expertise of companies with experience in building infrastructure and adding jobs. Salman had in 2016 announced his intention to reduce oil dependence in a vision 2030 document.
“Everything, road, railways and airports are going to be overhauled. The whole logistics structure of Saudi Arabia is changing. All these amount to over $1 trillion of investment opportunity in Saudi over next 10 years. We need Indian companies. You have huge companies with lot of experience,” said Al-Munajjed, adding that both the nations have a lot of synergy.
Al-Munajjed said that like India, the West Asian nation, too, wants more jobs and a clean environment. “There is so much we can do together. India is an over $2.5 trillion economy and creates 500,000 jobs a year. India has this experience and we can benefit a lot from this.”
Crown Prince Salman, known as MBS, had on Wednesday said his country saw an opportunity to invest as much as $100 billion in various sectors in India in the coming two years. Salman told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the West Asian nation was keen to work with India to make sure these investments benefit both countries. Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s biggest oil producer, is in talks with Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), and others, for more projects in India.
Saudi Arabia, home to a large number of Indian workers, is seeking quick grant of visa for businessmen and tourists coming to India. Al-Munajjed said electronic grant of visa without having to visit a visa centre will boost tourist flow to India several times. Indian businessmen who wish to visit Saudi Arabia get visa within 24 hours, he said.