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PIF to open Indian office as part of $100bn investment drive

Saudi investment minister Khalid Al Falih and Indian commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal address the India Saudi Investment Forum in New Delhi Saudi Ministry of Investment
Saudi investment minister Khalid Al Falih and Indian commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal address the India Saudi Investment Forum in New Delhi
  • Two nations sign 50 pacts
  • $50bn for refinery project
  • India to open Riyadh trade office

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is planning to set up an office in India’s Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (Gift City), as part of the kingdom’s plan to invest $100 billion in the world’s fifth largest economy.

Gift City is a special economic zone located in Gandhinagar in the Indian state of Gujarat, offering various tax benefits and exemptions for businesses.

Indian trade minister Piyush Goyal also announced plans to open an investment promotion office in Riyadh.

Saudi investment minister Khalid Al Falih made the PIF announcement in New Delhi during Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s state visit to India.

During the three-day visit, India and Saudi Arabia signed 50 pacts across various fields and agreed to form a joint task force for $100 billion in Saudi investment in India.

Although no timeline for the $100 billion investment has been finalised, Al Falih said that projects previously announced are “still possible”.

Half of the planned $100 billion is earmarked for a delayed refinery project along India’s western coast, Reuters reported, citing an Indian foreign ministry official.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia and the UAE joined forces with a consortium of Indian oil companies to set up a 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) refinery and petrochemical plant in western Maharashtra.

Al Falih stated that India has some issues to resolve for the projects to move forward, including land acquisition for the refinery.

Saudi Aramco is looking to convert four million bpd of oil into advanced green materials through local and global projects and India could be part of that, the Saudi minister said.

India’s trade volume with Saudi Arabia reached SAR196.7 billion ($52.45 billion) in 2022, surging 51 percent year on year, according to the Saudi investment ministry.

There are more than 3,000 Indian firms with a foreign investment license in the kingdom.

World leaders at the G20 summit in New Dehli on Saturday announced a shipping and rail transportation corridor linking countries across the Middle East, South Asia and Europe.

The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (Imec) aims to integrate railway routes and link ports along a route spanning from India to Europe, through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel.

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