Saudi-India business network to operate in Riyadh, Dammam

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India plans to launch a business network to promote commerce and trade, investment, business-to-business interactions and exchanges with Saudi Arabia.

The proposed Saudi-India Business Network (SIBN), which will function in Riyadh and Dammam, would comprise of both Indian and Saudi businessmen, entrepreneurs, industrialists and members of business chambers, the Press Trust of India reported Saturday.

The first meeting of the SIBN in Riyadh is scheduled to take place on September 2, said a statement released by the Indian Embassy in Riyadh.

Those Indian and Saudi companies recruiting Indians have also been invited to join the network.

India-Saudi Arabia trade relations have witnessed steady and remarkable growth in the last few years. Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth largest trade partner and the bilateral trade stood at $43.19 billion in 2012-13.

Saudi Arabia is also India’s largest supplier of crude oil, accounting for 17 percent of the country’s requirements, and is one of the major markets in the world for Indian exports.

Saudi Arabia is destination to more than 1.86 percent of India’s global exports and is also the source of 6.35 percent of India’s global imports.

For Saudi Arabia, India is the fifth largest market for its exports.

The two countries have an established framework of cooperation which includes Joint Commission Meetings, India-Saudi Business Council besides others, and hold regular meetings.

According to Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), 426 licenses were issued to Indian companies for Joint Ventures or 100 per cent-owned entities till 2010, which are expected to bring total investments of over $1.6bn to Saudi Arabia.

Several Indian companies have established collaborations with Saudi companies and are working in the Kingdom in the areas of designing, consultancy, financial services and software development.

Saudi Arabia is also emerging as a big investor in India.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette.