Saudi Arabia is keen to promote commerce and investment with
India, especially in Andhra Pradesh, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to
India Saud Mohammed Al-Sati said, saying the oil-rich kingdom was
"investing heavily" abroad.
After a two-day visit to Hyderabad, Al-Sati told IANS in an
interview: "Hyderabad is hub of innovation, information
technology, biotechnology, engineering and pharmaceuticals. We can
explore the opportunities for partnerships."
He added that opportunities for partnership with Andhra Pradesh in
various sectors could be explored.
"I learnt about opportunities here in all sectors of the economy.
I would like to see more Saudi companies investing in India,
especially in Andhra Pradesh," he said.
Al-Sati also invited businessmen and industrialists from the state
to invest in Saudi Arabia. During an interaction with business
leaders Friday, he highlighted the investment opportunities in his
country. He said Indian companies evinced interest in the
opportunities the kingdom offered.
During the visit, the ambassador met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister
N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, among others.
"The purpose of the visit was to reach out to business
communities, friends of Saudi Arabia and Saudi citizens and
students in Hyderabad, to strengthen bonds between the two
friendly countries and serving the interests of Saudi citizens and
students," Al-Sati said.
"I discussed with the chief minister and the governor ways to
strengthen relations, especially in commerce, joint ventures and
investments and to inform business communities, chambers of
commerce and industrialists about the business opportunities in
the kingdom," he said.
He pointed out that Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz
Al-Saud's visit to India in 2006 and Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh's visit to the kingdom in 2010 laid the foundation and
vision for strong and close relations.
While inviting people to invest in Saudi Arabia, he explained the
initiatives taken by the oil-rich country to boost development.
"The kingdom is investing heavily. The size of investment is
unprecedented in infrastructure, transport, health sector,
renewable energy, airports and sea ports. I told this to friends
of the kingdom and to people from all walks of life and invited
them to come and see the programme for themselves," the envoy told
The Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON) was established in
2001 for the development of industrial cities with integrated
infrastructure and services. Under MODON, more than 3,000
factories have come up in industrial cities with investments of
$50 billion and employing 300,000 people.
He said other avenue of investment for Indian investors was
economic cities under Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
SAGIA was established in 2000 as a vehicle for investment in Saudi
Arabia for sustaining economic growth.
The envoy also explored Hyderabad, which has historic ties with
the Arab nation. He visited the 105-year-old Osmania University,
which edits and publishes rare Arabic manuscripts. He offered
Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid, the 17th century mosque.
"I learnt about the very rich history of India, diversity of its
culture and its people," said Al-Sati, who has visited Lucknow and
Hyderabad in the past since taking over as the Saudi envoy.
He also called on Director General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy to
discuss the interests of 300 Saudi nationals in the city.
(Mohammed Shafeeq can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org)