KSA offers India $ 625 bn investment opportunities

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Updated 10 March 2013

KSA offers India $ 625 bn investment opportunities

Saudi Arabia is offering investment opportunities worth $ 625 billion to Indian businessmen in vital sectors such as infrastructure, petrochemicals, electricity, IT, tourism, natural gas production, agriculture and education.
“We had successful meetings with Indian business leaders and executives in New Delhi, Hyderabad and Lucknow,” said Abdul Rahman Al-Rabiah, chairman of Saudi-India Joint Business Council (JBC) who is currently leading a high-level Saudi trade delegation to India.
“It was excellent,” Al-Rabiah told Arab News when asked about the result of the March 5-8 business visit organized by the Federation of India Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). The Saudi delegation will return to the Kingdom today (Friday).
“The governments of the two countries have done their job of facilitating two-way business engagements. Our relations with India go back hundreds of years. Yet, the results in terms of business exchanges are not to the level we would like to see,” Al-Rabiah told a JBC meeting in New Delhi.
Al-Rabiah, who was leading a delegation representing sectors such as fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, housing, power, petrochemicals & refinery, steel, metals, mining and mechanical equipment, urged Indian companies to take advantage of investment and growth opportunities in the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is “the youngest nation in the world (67 percent Saudis are below the age of 27) which would need schools, hospitals, industries to meet their growing aspirations.” There is a lot of room for Indian companies with their high technology and experience to participate in the Kingdom’s development, he said, adding that the present $ 400 million Indian investment was insignificant compared with the potential.
Saudi Ambassador to India Saud M. Al-Sati said the two countries should engage in more business and trade by cashing in on the opportunities. He said that between 2000 and 2012, investments by Saudi companies in India were a mere $ 40 billion. This, he added, should rise significantly as Saudi and Indian companies engage with each other and build long-term business partnerships.
Rakesh Bakshi, senior executive committee member, FICCI & chairman & managing director of RRB Energy Ltd., said renewable energy offered tremendous scope for Indian and Saudi companies to work together as “India has the institutional framework and the technology to develop and promote renewables. We do not believe in re-inventing the wheel. Our companies have the know-how and experience to modify the wheel and suit it to your requirements in the most inhospitable of climatic conditions.”
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy also met the Saudi delegation and said his government was looking for larger investments from Saudi Arabia and was keen on mutual cooperation in industrial development. “We’ll extend all incentives and facilities to Saudi industrialists.”
After a power-point presentation by Saudi delegation, the chief minister said his state is the perfect platform for investment with its long coastline, skilled manpower and various incentives being offered by the government. The Saudi delegation invited the chief minister along with industrialists from Andhra Pradesh to visit Saudi Arabia.
Abdul Qader Memon Sait, a member of the managing committee of Saudi Indian Business Network, commended the growing economic relations between the two countries. Speaking to Arab News, he spoke about the plan to woo more than $ 100 billion investment from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries by India.
“There are billions of riyals of deposits by Saudi individuals remaining idle in Saudi banks, which can be invested in Indian mutual funds and equity market,” Sait said, adding that Saudis would receive profits up to 20 percent for such investments.


Saudi health authorities ready to join trials of COVID-19 vaccines

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health is working with a different Chinese company to evaluate whether the vaccine it is developing is effective. (REUTERS)
Updated 22 September 2020

Saudi health authorities ready to join trials of COVID-19 vaccines

  • Ministry of Health and King Abdullah International Medical Research Center have been working with two Chinese drug companies

JEDDAH: King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC) in Saudi Arabia is preparing to take part in advanced trials of one or two COVID-19 vaccines.

About 40 potential vaccines are being tested on humans, nine of which are at the advanced stage of clinical trials to evaluate their safety and effectiveness in protecting people against a virus that has infected more than 31 million people around the world.

The center confirmed its readiness to cooperate with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Health and the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) and participate in tests of one or two of the nine vaccines that are in the third phase of clinical trials, during which large-scale testing on humans takes place.

Dr. Naif Al-Harbi, the head of KAIMRC’s drug-development unit, told Al-Ekhbariya TV news channel that it is unprecedented to have nine vaccines in stage three of clinical trials so soon, less than a year, after the emergence of a new virus.

“Approval or disapproval of any drug normally follows the third stage of its clinical trials, which is the last stage,” he added. “Since the pandemic, KAIMRC has been in continuous contact with a number of drug companies in four countries (that are developing vaccines).”

KAIMRC has been working with one Chinese pharmaceutical company in particular to help evaluate and accelerate the development of its vaccine, he said.

“Over the past two months, we have been in contact with Sinovac to scientifically evaluate its product, in term of the tests on animals and a study of the results of stages one and two on humans,” Al-Harbi said.

He added that the Kingdom’s Ministry of Health is working with a different Chinese company to evaluate whether the vaccine it is developing is effective. A number of factors are taken into consideration when reaching a conclusion.

“We examine the drugs and make sure they have caused no side effects when tested on humans, or that they just caused insignificant side effects,” said Al-Harbi. “We also look into the manufacturing company’s profile to ensure it follows the standards of the good manufacturing practices, and that the company’s products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards.”

He added that SFDA is also doing a great job in ensuring that vaccines are safe, to avoid any risks to the health of people in the Kingdom.

In a message posted on Twitter, KAIMRC said that some countries, such as Russia, China and the UAE, have given doctors the green light to use some vaccines on patients before that have been approved, but only in emergency cases and when the results of early clinical studies indicate that the vaccine is safe.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia announced 27 additional COVID-19-related deaths. The death toll in the country now stands at 4,512.

Meanwhile, 492 new cases have been confirmed in the Kingdom, bringing the total number of people infected by the virus to 330,246. Of those, 14,235 cases remain active and 1,133 patients are in a critical condition.

The Ministry of Health said Makkah recorded the highest number of new cases, with 58, followed by Jeddah with 53, and Madinah with 38.

A further 1,060 people in the Kingdom have recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 311,499. A total of 6,093,601 tests for the virus have been carries out in the country, including 43,652 in the past 24 hours.