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Saudi, Indian firms sign mega deal; more in line

Posted by on February 23, 2011 0 Comment

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) Saudi Arabia’s Al Qahtani Sons Group Wednesday signed a joint venture agreement with Indian firm SledgeHammer Oil Tools to build one of the largest manufacturing plants for oilfield and drilling equipment in the Gulf nation. Several other companies are keen to sign similar deals to expand their businesses in the two countries, senior officials said.

“Many companies are looking for joint ventures. Such deals are important for expanding business in India and in Saudi Arabia,” Abdulrahman Al-Rabiah, chairman of India-Saudi India Joint Business Council, said at a business meeting here.

Rabiah, who is heading a 24-member business delegation to India, said many companies have started negotiations and are likely to sign joint ventures or memorandums of understanding soon.

Addressing the third India-Saudi Arabia Joint Business Council meeting here, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador Faisal Hassan Ahmed Trad urged Indian companies to increase investment in his country.

“The agreement on protection of investment between Saudi Arabia and India and the agreement on avoiding double taxation would spur two-way investments,” Trad said.

Indian companies have invested $2.07 billion in Saudi Arabia between 2000-2009 while Saudi Arabia has invested $29.81 million in India so far.

India-Saudi economic relations have shown remarkable growth with bilateral trade registering a three-fold increase in the last five years.

The value of the two-way trade between the two countries in 2009-10 exceeded $21 billion, said Devin Narang, executive committee member of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Narang, who is also the chairman of Freeplay Energy India, urged the business delegation from Saudi Arabia to undertake investments in India’s infrastructure sector, including airports and railways, which require investments in excess of $100 billion.

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