Saudi Arabia to invest in Indian start-ups, will set up Sovereign Wealth Fund office in India

Saudi Arabia is considering setting up an office of its sovereign wealth fund (SWF) in India to facilitate investments in the country. Moreover, the country also plans on investing in Indian start-ups through venture capital.

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The country’s Investment Minister, Khalid A. Al Falih said on Monday that within the next few weeks, he would send a delegation to India to explore the opportunity. He added that his delegation would explore Gift City along with Mumbai and New Delhi. 

Al Falih said, “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).”

The Investment Minister announced this at the India-Saudi Arabia Investment Forum meet, where India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal was also present. 

The Saudi Minister also highlighted his interest in investing in Indian start-ups which cater to the Saudi markets via venture capital funds.

“Hopefully in the next few weeks we will create a joint agreement between our national venture capital fund and their counterpart in India to channel venture capital and funding to startups that will have the opportunity to leverage out two markets,” the Investment Minister noted.

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It is worth noting that Saudi investments in India stand at $3.22 billion between April 2000 to June 2023. These investments have been made by government-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF) in Indian companies that are beyond their start-up stage. 

After hearing the Saudi Minister’s interest in India, the Indian Commerce and Industry Minister also suggested that India plans on setting up an office in Riyadh which will be partnered by FICCI and Invest India and some officials of the commerce and industry ministry. “

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

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GIFT City in Gujarat is a multi-purpose special economic zone for financial services.

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