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India backs local firms for Neom contracts in Saudi Arabia

A trip has been planned for Indian firms to interact with Saudi government and Qiddiya project officials

The Indian government is backing its local companies for contracts on Saudi Arabia's $500bn Neom megaproject [image: Twitter/discoverneom].
The Indian government is backing its local companies for contracts on Saudi Arabia's $500bn Neom megaproject [image: Twitter/discoverneom].

An Indian delegation is due to visit Saudi Arabia on 26-27 November, 2018 as the Asian superpower seeks work for its local companies on the $500bn (SAR1.9tn) Neom, Red Sea Tourism, and Qiddiya entertainment megaprojects.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs is overseeing the delegation’s visit through its Economic Diplomacy division, with officials from Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) leading the event. Indian companies from the infrastructure and housing sectors are due to be in Riyadh for the two-day trip, with TPCI expecting them to “benefit from business contracts and investment opportunities that are opening in Saudi Arabia”.

READ: Saudi King, PIF unveil multibillion-dollar schemes in Vision 2030 push

Saudi Arabia’s spend in the infrastructure sector, “particularly in light of [Neom] and the Red Sea Tourism project”, is expected to boost Indian firms seeking work in the kingdom.

According to a tentative schedule shared by TPCI last month, Day 1 of the trip included meetings with the chairman/secretary general of Riyadh Chamber and Saudi businessmen. A roadshow was also on the schedule for today, as was a call on Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Housing chiefs.

Day 2 will see the delegation meeting officials from Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (Sagia) and the chairman or secretary general of the council of Saudi Chambers. A roadshow has been pencilled in for tomorrow with Saudi-India Business Council, followed by meetings with Modon, Neom, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and Royal Commission of Jazan and Yanbu, the last of which will pertain to the Red Sea Tourism scheme. A visit has also been planned around Qiddiya entertainment project for tomorrow afternoon.

Backed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian companies are rapidly expanding their footprint around the world and in the Middle East.

Worth trillions of riyals, Neom has caught the attention of the global business community. In the UAE, Abu Dhabi-headquartered Lulu Group, led by Indian business titan M A Yusuffali, is already eyeing involvement with the cross-border megaproject that spans Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan.

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