The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was one of four to be signed between Saudi Arabian and Indian business houses in the course of the India-Saudi Arabia Business Forum, organised in New Delhi by The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Council of Saudi Chambers.
The Kanoo-Seaworld JV agreement, which was inked by Ali Abdulla Kanoo, regional director of Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo Co, and Vaishnav Puri, managing director of Seaworld Shipping, broadly covers port and shipping agency, but may subsequently be extended to freight forwarding.
It was revealed at the forum that bilateral investment between India and Saudi Arabia has been growing steadily. Since 2005, a number of Indian firms have taken advantage of attractive new Saudi laws and established joint venture projects or wholly-owned subsidiaries in the kingdom.
A total of 426 licenses have been issued to Indian companies for joint ventures or 100% owned entities, bringing total investments worth $1.6bn into Saudi Arabia. These licenses are for projects in sectors as diverse as management and consultancy services, construction projects, shipping and logistics, telecommunications, information technology and pharmaceuticals, among others.
“India today has a new National Manufacturing Policy which aims to increase share of manufacturing in GDP from 16% to 25% by 2022,” said FICCI president Sidharth Birla.
“There is a blueprint for expansion of manufacturing with emphasis on exports. Saudi Arabia, we feel, can be an effective partner for this vision, and India can be a very attractive location for Saudi Arabia to export from.”