A two-day Telangana Investment Seminar, organized by the Indian Embassy in Riyadh and Indian Consulate in Jeddah, in partnership with the Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnership (SCISP) and the Telangana government, was held on Monday and Tuesday.
Held on a virtual platform, the highlight of the seminar was the keynote address delivered by Telangana’s young and dynamic Minister of IT, Industries, Municipal Administration and Urban Development K.T. Rama Rao. He is the son of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.
KTR, as he is popularly known in India, outlined the salient features of his state and pointed out that Telangana ranks near the top on all development indices, including ease of doing business. “The world’s major tech companies, including Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, have massive footprints in the Telangana capital Hyderabad,” he said.
“We are a very young state. In fact, it has only been seven years since the state was created in June 2014. We have excellent infrastructure and the fact that the world’s best tech giants have set up bases in Hyderabad is proof of our government’s business-friendly credentials,” said KTR.
He welcomed Saudi business investment in India, especially in Telangana. He said the laws of the state stipulated that the licensing for new businesses must be completed in only two weeks. According to him, most of the requirements and licensing details are online and they all follow a certain procedure called “self certification.”
“If, for any reason, the registration is delayed, then the official/bureaucrat has to pay a fine on the 16th day for not clearing the file. As per the law, if the licensing for a business/project has not been completed in 15 days, then on the 16th day, it is automatically assumed that the license has been approved,” he said.
KTR said Telangana has become the vaccine capital of the world and there was every possibility that one in every three human vaccines worldwide is produced in Hyderabad.
He appreciated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 program and said India in general and Telangana in particular stood ready to collaborate, and cooperate in creating new openings for two-way business opportunities.
KTR said that his government and his state would be more than willing to provide all answers to queries from Saudi business people and promised total transparency in business dealings.
Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed thanked KTR and extended an invitation to him to bring his delegation to Saudi Arabia some time soon in order to take further steps to enhance and strengthen Indo-Saudi business ties.
The ambassador stressed the strategic partnership agreement signed by India and Saudi Arabia during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019. “The agreement gave an additional impetus to the already formidable political and economic partnerships between the two friendly countries,” said Dr. Sayeed.
Saudi Indian Business Council (SIBC) Chairman Abdul Aziz Al-Qahtani described KTR’s presentation as “impressive” and said the webinar would go a long way to making Saudis look at Telangana as a profitable and sustainable investment destination.
Responding to different queries, KTR said answers to most of the frequently asked questions were available at the Telangana government’s investment dashboard, which can be accessed at https://invest.telangana.gov.in/.
The seminar concluded with Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan’s detailed presentation entitled “Invest in Telangana.” Other speakers included NITI Aayog’s Rakesh Sarwal and SCISP Executive Vice President Yasser Aldohaim.
The events on the first day were followed by several presentations which focused on agriculture, food processing, IT, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and fertilizers. Companies attending included Saudi Aramco, Juffali, Ma’aden,Tronox, SALIC, Almarai, Al-Munajem Cold Stores, STC, Cigalah and Jamjoom.
Hamna Mariyam Khan, consul (commerce) at the Indian Consulate in Jeddah, conducted the proceedings with aplomb.