JEDDAH: Irfan Mohammed
Published — Tuesday 11 December 2012
Last update 11 December 2012 1:41 am
Saudi businessmen of various business backgrounds intend to promote Saudi-Indian business relations, said Dr. Ghazi Binzagr, prominent business personality and President of the Saudi-Indian Business Network (SIBN).
Speaking of a weeklong visit to India by a Saudi business delegation at a press conference at the Indian Consulate yesterday, Binzagr said that the private sector plays a major role in strengthening ties between nations. This delegation followed in the footsteps of King Abdullah’s visit to India.
He emphasized that business interests can only be furthered by mutual understanding the people and culture. He said that in light of the technological and real estate boom of recent years, Saudi businessmen have begun exploring possibilities of expanding the volume of trade in traditional food and garments.
Dr. Ghazi Binzagr further added that the Indian corporate giant Tata Group has offered to train Saudi youth in group facilities in India. He also said that India’s Jindal Steel and Power Group (JSPL), which has an annual turnover of $ 3.5 billion, takes a great interest in investing in the steel sector in Saudi Arabia. Other companies such as construction giant NBCC, L & T and Apollo Hospitals Group have also manifested their interest in investments and joint ventures within the Kingdom.
Indian Consul General Faiz Ahmed Kidwai has said that the Indian consulate has initiated a tour to brief businesses about business prospects between the two countries. He said that being a dynamic economy of Asia, India is looking towards the Arab world’s largest economy. He said that whilst there is yet to be a breakthrough in these liaisons, the bridges for cooperation between the two countries is solidly being built.
Dr. Faisal Alaquil of CPC holding, which is associated with the Saudi Binalden Group, revealed that his company has decided to establish an industrial plant in India to cater for the needs of construction-related activities in India, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He also said that his group is seriously negotiating on the acquisition of a mega wooden factory in Mumbai.
One of the delegates, Ms. Reem Adnan of Eve Group, has said that the introduction of fashion design exports from India has resulted from this visit. She added that she is expecting SR 8 million worth of fashion apparel within 6 months from India and that this line of clothing will be marketed in Qatar besides Saudi Arabia.
The delegation visited New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. In New Delhi, it had met with Indian Foreign Minister of State E. Ahmed and Commerce Minister of State S. Jagathrakshan. In Mumbai, it had visited corporate giant Tata Group headquarters where it had met with Noel Tata of the Tata Group, which is ranked in the top 50 companies of the Forbes list. The delegation also visited world IT giants Wipro and Infosys in Bangalore.