Indian delegation chases deals on Saudi Arabia's $500bn Neom City

Indian infrastructure and real estate firms to embark on two-day visit to Riyadh, seeking Neom City opportunities
Indian delegation chases deals on Saudi Arabia's $500bn Neom City
The Saudi government says NEOM - billed as a regional silicon valley - will draw investments worth $500 billion from the kingdom's vast Public Investment Fund, as well as local and international investors.
By James Mathew
Mon 26 Nov 2018 02:08 PM

An Indian delegation will be in Riyadh on a two-day visit, starting from Tuesday to explore possible contracts and investment opportunities in Neom, the $500 billion futuristic mega city project being developed in Saudi Arabia.

The Indian delegation, being organised by the Economic Diplomacy (ED) Division of Ministry of External Affairs and Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI), will be headed by additional secretary in India’s External Affairs ministry, Manoj Bharti.

During the visit, the delegation will interact with key decision makers of the Saudi Government and industry.

The infrastructure projects are part of the kingdom’s initiative to expand its economy through major structural changes by developing mega projects like Neom, new roads and railroads, airports and sea ports, development of Qiddiya entertainment city and Red Sea Tourism Project.

Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 is expected to open up new opportunities for Indian companies and professionals in various sectors like railways, hospitality, tourism, airport, housing, IT and entertainment.

Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority has recently issued more than 400 licences to Indian firms. There is also scope for Indian companies to partner in the high speed 450km railway line linking Makkah and Madinah and construction of an airport in Jeddah.

Indian investments in Saudi Arabia so far are worth $1.5 billion, while Saudi Arabia has invested to the tune of $16 million in India, the statement said.

Saudi Arabia is the fourth largest trading partner of India, with bilateral trade exceeding $25 billion in 2016-17. As India’s largest supplier of crude oil, Saudi Arabia accounts for about 20 percent of India’s total annual imports.

The 3.2 million strong Indian community is the largest expatriate group in Saudi Arabia and sends $10 billion of annual remittances back to India.

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