Saudi Business Team to Participate in Gujrat Summit

by shariff mohammed | Nov 08, 2016

A large group of Saudi businessmen is participating in the India’s upcoming 8th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit which will take place on January 10-13, 2017 with the prime focus on the “Sustainable Economic and Social Development”. This was disclosed by Dr. Rajiv Kumar Gupta, leader of a high-level Indian trade delegation in a meeting at Asharqia Chamber last month.

Mr. Rasheed A. Al Rushaid, Board Member of Asharqia Chamber, received the Indian delegation which represented an assortment of products and services mainly in the fields of oil and gas, chemicals, petrochemicals, infrastructure development, education, auditing and consulting. “These products have bright prospects in the Kingdom particularly in its Eastern Province which is now called the “Industrial Capital of the Gulf” for its enormous industrial activities,” said Mr. Al Rushaid. Chamber’s Secretary General Mr. Abdulrahman A. Al Wabel was present on the occasion.      

Mr. Rajiv Gupta noted that Gujrat Summit has proved to be a resounding successful event since it brings together many heads of states and governments, ministers, senior policy makers and key business leaders from the corporate world making it a unique platform for exchanging ideas, sharing knowledge, networking, exploring business opportunities and signing cooperation agreements and partnerships.

Mr. Gupta focused on enormous industrial activities of Gujrat state where the current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was once the Chief Minister. It is dubbed India’s industrial hub with having 5% of India’s population and 6% of its land mass. Gujrat amounts to 7.6% of India’s GDP with almost a tenth of its workforce and 22% of its exports. 

Gujarat is considered the petroleum capital of India due to presence of huge refining capacity set up by private and public sector companies. It has also large-scale petrochemicals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and fertilizers industries which have already attracted significant volumes of foreign direct investments (FDIs).  

Mr. Gupta pointed out that Gujrat has excellent infrastructure facilities with around 45 ports and 18 domestic airports and an international airport. There are 106 product clusters and 60 special economic zones (SEZs). There is also a $90- billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) which is expected to draw new investments in Gujarat.

He highlighted Gujarat’s Industrial Policy 2015, which offers attractive incentives and concessions for prospective local and overseas investors. Gujarat stands first among Indian states in rankings based on ease of doing business and reforms implementation, according to a study by the World Bank and KPMG.

Mr. Gupta said that Gujrat has achieved tremendous growth in its power generation. As of January 2016, Gujarat had a total installed power generation capacity of 29,464.28 megawatt (MW). The state has invested heavily in the development of solar energy. It once had India's largest solar power plant with a capacity of 716 MW.  Gujarat plans to produce over 1000MW of energy from solar power and it has now the highest share of total renewable energy sources in India accounting for over 14% or 12,489 MW. 

Mr. Al Rushaid said that Saudi Arabia has very buoyant trading relationships with India and these relationships have received a fresh boost after the recent visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Kingdom. In addition, there have been many reciprocal high-level ministerial visits and trade delegations between the two countries in recent years which have taken the already strong and friendly relations to new heights, he added.

He noted that Indian embassy in Riyadh has been organizing catalogue exhibitions of Indian products every now and then in various regions of the Kingdom. For instance, he observed, such an Indian catalogue show was held last month at Asharqia Chamber attracting a large number of visitors.

Mr. Al Rushaid gave an overview of existing world-class chemical and petrochemical plants based in the Eastern Province’s Jubail Industrial Cities--One and Two with many more new mega projects coming up like Sadara Chemical Company and Saudi Aramco Total Refining & Petrochemical Company. There is also a mining city being developed in the region’s Ras Al Khair area, he noted

He urged Indian firms to consider setting up joint venture projects in the Kingdom in cooperation with their Saudi counterparts by taking advantage of liberalized economic policies, sustained industrial growth and continued peace and stability in the Kingdom. 

Indian firms have already made their presence felt in the Saudi market with a combined investment estimated at $1.6 billion mainly in the fields of energy, IT and manufacturing industries. Saudi Arabia has also significant investments in India estimated at $228 million. Saudi Aramco and SABIC have plans for more investments with SABIC recently opening up a technology center in Bangalore at a cost of $100 million.

Meanwhile, bilateral trade between the two countries reached nearly $40 billion last year.  Saudi Arabia mainly supplies oil which meets about one-fifth of India’s energy requirements.

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