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Indian trade mission to visit the Kingdom

  Jeddah, 11th Apr 2001

   A 16-member delegation of the Confederation of Indian Industry is arriving here on Friday on a weeklong visit to the Kingdom. Addressing a press conference here yesterday, Indian Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad said the delegation would be headed by Dr. J.J. Irani, managing director of Tata Steel, one of India’s largest companies.

He said the delegation would be visiting Riyadh from April 13 to 15, Dammam (April 16-17) and Jeddah (April 18 and 19) at the invitation of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The CII, India’s top business association with a membership of 3,800 companies, is organizing a trade mission to the Kingdom for the second time. A delegation, also led by Irani, visited Riyadh in 1999.

Ambassador Ahmad said members of the delegation would hold talks with Prince Abdullah ibn Faisal, governor of the General Investment Authority, and Saleh Al-Husseini, deputy minister of industries, besides leading businessmen. They will also meet Saudi businessmen in the three provinces.

Spelling out the objectives of the mission, Ahmad said it was to promote two-way investment, joint ventures, technology transfers and marketing tie-ups. Bilateral trade has remained steady at over $3 billion annually.

Currently, there are 21 Saudi-Indian joint ventures in the Kingdom and 33 in India. Soon after new investment regulations came into force in the Kingdom two Indian firms obtained licenses involving a total of $287.2 million for the manufacture of linear alkyl benzene and natural paraffin.

A few other Indian companies have also taken advantage of the new regulations providing for 100 percent foreign ownership of projects in the Kingdom.

Indian pharmaceutical firm Ajanta Pharma has set up a joint venture in Jeddah to produce a variety of prescription and over-the-counter medicines for Saudi and Gulf markets.

Saudi-Indian Joint Commission will hold its next session in Riyadh in the near future, Ahmad said. A meeting of the Saudi-Indian Joint Business Council will also be held along with the joint commission meeting.

The ambassador announced that negotiations for a Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement between the two countries were at an advanced stage. A proposal for a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement was also under active consideration, he added.

Source: Arab News©

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11 April 2001 01:25:17 PM

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