India eyeing Saudi Arabia mega projects worth $ 500 billion
Virendra Singh Rawat Lucknow, 26 Nov
India is eyeing a larger pie of the US$ 500 billion worth of futuristic mega city projects in Saudi Arabia.
To explore contracts and investment opportunities, a delegation under the aegis of the ministry of external affairs and Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) and comprising representatives of top infrastructure, housing and allied sectors and entertainment industry is visiting Riyadh on November 27-28.
The delegation would interact with key decision makers of the Saudi government and industry. These projects are part of the Kingdom’s initiative to expand their economy through structural changes and developing mega projects like NEOM, new roads and railroads, airports and sea ports, development of Qiddiya entertainment city and Red Sea Tourism Project.
To generate alternate sources of wealth and reduce dependence on oil-based economy, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are investing heavily in infrastructure development. The projects in Saudi Arabia are part of ‘Vision 2030’ to shift from an oil-based economy to an industrial manufacturing-based productive economy.
Recently, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority had issued more than 400 licenses to Indian firms. There is also scope for Indian companies to partner high speed 450-km railway line linking Mecca and Medina and construction of an airport in Jeddah.
Indian investment in Saudi Arabia is worth $ 1.5 billion and Saudi Arabia has invested $ 16 million in India.
Saudi Arabia is India’s 4th largest trading partner with bilateral trade exceeding US$ 25 billion in 2016-17. As India’s largest supplier of crude oil, Saudi Arabia accounts for about 20% of India’s total annual imports.