Modi invites Saudi firms, sets $100 bn investment target in energy sector

Foreign investors, Modi in Saudi Arabian, Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia
PM Modi on Citizenship Amendment Bill

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday (October 29) sought investments in India’s energy sector as he highlighted the country’s booming start-up ecosystem. Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative 2009 in Riyadh, the prime minister also said that India has set a target of $100 billion investment in the energy sector.

“Today India has become world’s third largest start-up ecosystem. Even in tier-2 and tier-3 cities of India start-ups have come up. Our start-ups have started investing at global scale. I invite global investors to benefit from our start-up ecosystem,” he said in this speech.

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Further, he added that the country offers a huge investment opportunity in the infrastructure sector too. In the infrastructure sector alone, the government aims to have an investment of $1.5 trillion in the next five years, he said.

Mentioning about various initiatives taken by the government to improve business climate, Modi said the country’s ranking has significantly improved in the World Banks Ease of Doing Business, Logistic Performance Index and Innovation Index. The prime minister also noted that India’s tax structure and IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) regime are considered best in the world.

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He said that India is also focusing on skill development by skilling and re-skilling people. “Under Skill India initiative, in the coming 3-4 years, 400 million people will be trained under different skills. This will provide assured skilled manpower to companies investing in India,” he added.

According to the prime minister, manpower and talent mobility should be included in the international agreements, which should not be only restricted to goods. He also said that the direct benefit transfer scheme has help the government save $20 billion.

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Earlier in the day, Modi called on Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the two leaders exchanged views on working closely together to strengthen the bilateral ties. Prior to that, he also met top Saudi ministers called on Modi and discussed ways to further deepen bilateral ties in areas of energy, labour, agriculture and water technologies.

Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Minister of Labour and Social Development Ahmad bin Sulaiman Alrajhi and Environment, Water and Agriculture Minister Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley were among the ministers who called on Modi in the Saudi capital.

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The Saudi energy minister had a productive meeting with the Prime Minister and the two leaders “talked about efforts to improve energy cooperation between the two nations,” the Prime Minister’s office tweeted. Modi also met Minister of Labour and Social Development Ahmad bin Sulaiman Alrajhi and discussed issues related to labour.

Prime Minister Modi arrived in Riyadh late Monday night on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia to participate in the high-profile financial summit Future Investment Initiative, dubbed “Davos in the desert”, an initiative of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This is his second visit to the Gulf Kingdom.

(With inputs from agencies)