RIYADH: The startup ecosystems in Saudi Arabia and India are on the brink of a major expansion following the signing of a new agreement.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News during the India-Saudi Investment Forum, Vishal Agarwalla, national vice chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry, revealed that the startup and entrepreneur ecosystems in both countries have entered into a business-to-government agreement aimed at driving the sector forward.
“We did a B2G agreement, which was business-to-government, and this was ensuring that all the startup ecosystems in India come together along with all the startup ecosystems in Saudi Arabia, like eVision and Invest Saudi,” said Agarwalla who is also a sherpa for India for the G20 Young Entrepreneur Alliance.
Furthermore, the Confederation of Indian Industry also entered into agreements with entities such as the Saudi Investment Fund and eVision Co. to further propel the sector.
“We did four business-to-business MoUs which was in the area of the recycling of the mineral waste in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region; also defining policy and making recycling of electronic waste, a real force in Saudi Arabia and other countries surrounding,” Agarwalla said.
He also mentioned that another MoU is focused on expediting the development of e-planes, which will facilitate the transportation of goods.
“Almost the next step would be moving toward air taxi,” he added.
“Four months ago, we went to Saudi Arabia, at that time, Prince Fahad (President of Saudi G20 Startup 20), along with the Saudi delegation, we discussed and wanted to make sure that the startup ecosystems from Saudi Arabia and India come together to make a larger impact in the area. And so, I think today’s event almost feels like a culmination of the discussions we had four months ago in Riyadh,” Agarwalla highlighted.
Nearly 400 Saudi and Indian businessmen participated in the event, which featured 10 workshops and bilateral meetings aimed at discussing opportunities for business cooperation.
The forum involved the exchange of MoUs and the issuance of licenses to private sector entities between the Saudi and Indian sides.
The event also addressed Saudi Arabia’s provision of financial and non-financial incentives and support mechanisms to ensure the sustainable development of targeted sectors and promising industries.