Saudi prince sees 'useful returns' from expected $100 billion investment in India




  • In Business
  • 2019-02-20 10:05:23Z
  • By By Sanjeev Miglani
 

By Sanjeev Miglani

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Wednesday he saw investment opportunities of more than $100 billion in India over the next two years as he began his first official visit amid tensions between arch foes India and Pakistan.

India rolled out the red carpet for the crown prince as it seeks diplomatic support against Pakistan following a militant attack in the disputed region of Kashmir.

The crown prince was also given a lavish welcome this week in Pakistan where the two sides signed memoranda of understanding valued at about $20 billion to help prop up Pakistan's economy.

In a joint press appearance after talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the crown prince said terrorism was a common concern and Saudi Arabia was ready to share intelligence with India to tackle it.

India blames Pakistan for not doing enough to roll up militant groups that operate from its soil including the one that claimed responsibility for the Kashmir car bombing on Thursday last week.

Pakistan denies any involvement in cross-border terrorism and said it would retaliate against an Indian attack.

"We face similar challenges, chief among them extremism and terrorism … and we reaffirm to India that we are ready to work in the intelligence and political arenas to coordinate our efforts…" the crown prince said.

Saudi Arabia's formidable domestic security structure helped put down an al Qaeda bombing campaign over a decade ago. But the kingdom continues to face occasional attacks by Sunni Islamic State fighters and Shi'ite militants in its Eastern Province.

SAUDI ARAMCO IN TALKS

Riyadh also leads a coalition of Arab states fighting in support of Yemen's internationally recognized government against the Iranian-aligned Houthi fighters, who regularly fire rockets across the kingdom's southern border.

The crown prince also said he wanted to expand commercial relations with India.

"Today we expect the opportunities we are targeting in India in various fields to exceed $100 billion in the coming two years… we want to work with you, Mr Prime Minister, to ensure these investments are made and to ensure useful returns for both countries."

Giant petroleum and natural gas company Saudi Aramco said it was in talks with India's Reliance Industries Ltd for possible investments and was seeking other opportunities.

Both India and Pakistan had expected a scaling up of investments on the crown prince's first tour of the region since the storm over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

The killing of Khashoggi, a known critic of the crown prince, has strained Saudi Arabia's ties with the West and battered the prince's image abroad. He's next due in China.

The European Commission has added Saudi Arabia to an EU draft list of countries that pose a threat to the bloc because of lax controls against terrorism financing and money laundering, sources told Reuters last month.

But Modi has sought to use India's fast-growing economy to attract more investment from Saudi Arabia and other Islamic nations since he took office.

During the press briefing, Modi said he had agreed with the prince to strengthen cooperation on counter-terrorism and naval and cyber security.

The two countries signed agreements on investment in infrastructure, housing sector and tourism.

(Additional reporting by Dahlia Nehme, Stephen Kalin, Neha Dasgupta, Devjyot Ghoshal and Aditya Kalra; Editing by Nick Macfie)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Defying Congress, Trump sets $8 billion-plus in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE
Defying Congress, Trump sets $8 billion-plus in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE
  • World
  • 2019-05-25 01:52:14Z

The Trump administration informed congressional committees that it will go ahead with 22 military sales to the Saudis, United Arab Emirates and Jordan, infuriating lawmakers by circumventing a long-standing precedent for congressional review of major weapons sales. Members of Congress had been blocking

Citing Iran, Trump bypasses Congress to sell arms to Saudis, UAE
Citing Iran, Trump bypasses Congress to sell arms to Saudis, UAE

President Donald Trump's administration on Friday bypassed Congress to sell $8.1 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies, citing a threat from Iran, infuriating lawmakers who fear the weapons could kill civilians in Yemen. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the administration would circumvent the required review by Congress to approve 22 arms transfers to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, saying that the freeze on sales by Congress could affect the Arab allies' operational abilities.

Iran
Iran's foreign minister in Pakistan amid tensions with US

ISLAMABAD (AP) - Iran's foreign minister lashed out at President Donald Trump on Friday during a critically timed visit to Pakistan amid a simmering crisis between Tehran and Washington and ahead of next week's emergency Arab League meeting called by Saudi Arabia over the region's tensions.

Pakistan says wants peace with India, Modi responds after victory speech
Pakistan says wants peace with India, Modi responds after victory speech

With official data showing Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on course to increase its majority in India's parliament, Pakistani premier Imran Khan said he was ready to cooperate with the government as it resumed office. "I congratulate Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of BJP and allies. Look forward to working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia," Khan tweeted.

Tea seller
Tea seller's son becomes India's Hindu nationalist hero

Master communicator and battle-hardened political scrapper, Narendra Modi fought his way off the streets to become one of India's most popular and polarising prime ministers. There is no middle ground between admirers and adversaries of the 68-year-old, who is on target to become the first leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to win two five-year terms. After helping his father run a railway station tea stall in the small Gujarat town of Vadnagar, Modi ran away as a teenager to devote his life to politics.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.