Startup Bridge: India and Saudi Arabia Sign $3.5 Billion Pact With 53 Memorandums of Understanding

Startup Bridge
Startup Bridge

Prince Fahad Bin Mansour, Chairman of the Saudi Arabian startup group for Group 20, expressed optimism about significantly increasing trade between Saudi Arabia and India following the establishment of investment facilitation centers and a startup bridge to engage startups and youth from both countries.

Under the startup bridge initiative, India’s Ministry for Commerce and Industry, Invest India, and FICCI will establish an Investment and trade Promotion office in Riyadh, while Saudi Arabia will open an investment facilitation office in India and provide physical and digital space for the startup bridge in Riyadh.

In the past 24 hours, 53 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) worth $3.5 billion were signed between India and Saudi Arabia, indicating a growing economic partnership.

Prince Fahad Bin Mansour expressed hope that Indian companies would expand and relocate to Saudi Arabia and vice versa. He emphasized the significant potential value that this initiative could bring, describing it as immeasurable at present.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a crucial role in both countries, and initiatives like the startup bridge are expected to enhance trade relations and opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs. Additionally, the India-Middle East-Europe corridor, seen as a modern bridge between continents, is expected to further boost trade and economic cooperation.

India’s Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal, invited Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth funds to invest in Gujarat’s GIFT city. He confirmed that the investment facilitation centers would be established within the next six months with full support from the Indian government, including the involvement of venture capitalists for funding and guidance.

Saudi Arabia‘s Minister of Investment, Khalid A. Al Falih likened the India-Middle East-Europe corridor to the Silk Road and Spice Route combined for the current millennium. He highlighted the potential for rebalancing global trade, particularly in terms of energy connectivity, green materials, processed and finished goods. Saudi Aramco’s interest in converting oil into advanced green materials globally was also mentioned, along with Saudi Arabia’s appetite to invest in various sectors beyond oil, including green energy, technology, manufacturing, telecommunications, defense, food, culture, and movies.

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