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Saudi Arabia to Invest in Indian Start-ups, Establish Sovereign Wealth Fund Office

Saudi Arabia is exploring the possibility of establishing an office for its sovereign wealth fund (SWF) in India to facilitate investments in the country. Additionally, the nation is planning to invest in Indian start-ups through venture capital.

Khalid A. Al Falih, the country's Investment Minister, announced that in the coming weeks, he would send a delegation to India to assess this opportunity. The delegation will explore investment prospects in Gift City, Mumbai, and New Delhi.

Al Falih stated, "I will match your offer and commit today that we will open an office in India for investment facilitation. We are talking about bi-directional (facilitation)."

This announcement was made during the India-Saudi Arabia Investment Forum meeting, attended by India’s Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal.

The Saudi Minister expressed interest in investing in Indian start-ups that target the Saudi market through venture capital funds.

"In the next few weeks, we hope to establish a joint agreement between our national venture capital fund and its Indian counterpart to channel venture capital and funding to start-ups that can tap into both markets," noted the Investment Minister.

Notably, Saudi investments in India have reached $3.22 billion from April 2000 to June 2023. These investments, made by the government-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF), have been directed towards Indian companies that have moved beyond the start-up phase.

In response to the Saudi Minister's interest in India, the Indian Commerce and Industry Minister proposed that India plans to establish an office in Riyadh, in collaboration with FICCI and Invest India, along with officials from the commerce and industry ministry.

"We have invited PIF, other SWFs, and investors to come and set up an office in GIFT City. Khalid Bhai and I are both committed to it. We have agreed that within the next 6 months, we will make both these actions a reality on the ground," stated the Indian Minister.

GIFT City, located in Gujarat, serves as a multi-purpose special economic zone for financial services.


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