Saudi Arabia Explores Investment Opportunities in India, Plans SWF Office and Startup Ventures
Saudi Arabia Explores Investment Opportunities in India, Plans SWF Office and Startup Ventures

NEW DELHI: Saudi Arabia is contemplating the establishment of an office for its sovereign wealth fund (SWF) within India to streamline investment opportunities in the nation. Additionally, the country has ambitious plans to inject capital into burgeoning Indian startups through venture capital initiatives.

Khalid A. Al Falih, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Investment, declared on Monday that he intends to dispatch a delegation to India in the coming weeks to delve into this prospect further. He mentioned that the delegation's itinerary would include exploring Gift City, along with visits to Mumbai and New Delhi.

Al Falih enthusiastically stated, "I pledge today that we will establish an investment facilitation office in India, matching your commitment. Our aim is to foster two-way investment facilitation."

This announcement took place during the India-Saudi Arabia Investment Forum, where India's Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, was also in attendance.

Furthermore, the Saudi Minister expressed a keen interest in backing Indian startups that target the Saudi market through venture capital funding. He added, "In the coming weeks, we hope to formalize a cooperative agreement between our national venture capital fund and its Indian counterpart, channeling resources and funding to startups capable of harnessing opportunities in both markets."

It is noteworthy that Saudi investments in India have totaled $3.22 billion from April 2000 to June 2023. These investments have primarily been made by the government-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF) in established Indian companies beyond their initial startup stages.

In response to the Saudi Minister's enthusiasm for India, the Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry proposed India's plans to establish an office in Riyadh. This office would be a collaborative effort involving FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), Invest India, and key officials from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The Indian Minister further explained, "We have extended invitations to PIF, other SWFs, and investors to establish offices within GIFT City. Khalid Bhai and I are both committed to this endeavor. We have mutually agreed that we will set these plans into motion on the ground within the next six months."

GIFT City, located in Gujarat, serves as a multifaceted special economic zone dedicated to financial services.

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