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Saudi Prince promises to invest $100 billion in India, fight terror

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 20, 2019

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks at a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he looks on, at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, February 20, 2019.   -  REUTERS

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced his country’s intention to invest $100 billion in India in various projects across sectors. However, the timeline for making the investments and a sectoral break-up are yet to be decided on.

“The Prime Minister welcomed the announcement of the Crown Prince to invest $100 billion into India in a range of areas like energy, refining, petrochemical, infrastructure, agriculture and manufacturing,” said TS Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs, at a briefing following the meeting between PM Narendra Modi and Salman. 

“This is a clear reflection of the confidence of Saudi Arabia in the vibrancy of the Indian economy and the tremendous opportunity available in all areas.”

Saudi Arabia had promised investments of $20 billion to Pakistan during the Crown Prince’s visit to that country earlier this week.

India and Saudi Arabia signed five MoUs in the areas of infrastructure, tourism, housing and exchange of audio visual programmes. Investment in infrastructure will be routed via India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund.

The investments would include $12 billion that is going into the Ratnagiri project. “Talks are already going on about the areas and sectors we should be looking at. The NITI Aayog team was there four days ago to look at various (possible) areas for investments,” Tirumurti said.

“It is time to convert energy partnership into strategic partnership. This is no longer just a buyer-seller relationship. I welcome Saudi investment in infrastructure,” Modi said at a joint press brief with the Saudi Arabian Prince on Wednesday.

Pulwama attack 

Without mentioning the Pulwama terror attack or the role that Pakistan might have played, Salman acknowledged that terrorism needed to be curbed. “The common concern is terrorism and extremism. We will cooperate with India and neighbouring states to ensure future generations are safe. We applaud India's role in this matter,” he said, adding that his country would help India on this front through intelligence sharing.

Published on February 20, 2019

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