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Regional and Bilateral Relations

 

  • A delegation of Saudi-India Business Network (SIBN) which called on the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Dr. S Jagathrakshakan in New Delhi, showed keen interest on investing in India and forming joint ventures with Indian companies. The 15 member ISBN delegation was led by its President Dr. Ghazi Binzagar. The Saudi delegation showed particular interest in petroleum, petrochemicals, fertilizers, infrastructure, food processing, health care, herbal and medicinal sectors. Addressing the delegation, Dr Jagathrakshakan detailed the vast investment potential available in India following the spate of new initiatives and liberalization. He said the proposed US $ 750 million Saudi-Indo Investment Fund, jointly set up by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and the Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) will start in the near future. The fund focuses on channelizing Saudi investments into Indian infrastructure projects. The Minister called upon the delegation to utilize the services of 'India Invest' a joint venture special purpose vehicle of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion with FICCI and the State governments. 'Invest India' gives a fillip to investment promotion and handholding services to foreign investors particularly to the Small and Marginal Enterprises (SMEs) and family owned overseas enterprises in a structured manner. Dr. Jagathrakshakan also invited the Saudi business community to participate in the oncoming 4th GCC-India Industrial Conference (IGIC) to be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from 19th to 21st February 2013.

 

  • In a business meeting with Dr. Mikhail Myasnikovich, Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Dr. D Purandeswari said that both India and Belarus need to take sincere and concerted efforts as the bilateral trade and investment between the two countries remains below potential. "Specific measures should be taken to enhance trade between the two countries...a number of new bilateral documents are in the process of elaboration," said Dr. D Purandeswari.Highlighting the sectors where both the countries can look forward to boost trade, Dr. Purandeswari said that since Belarus is well-known as a major supplier of potash fertiliser, "India is interested in long-term off-take, besides her interest in investing in the potash sector in Belarus."She further noted that the pharmaceutical sector is another area of "promising cooperation and we feel that Joint Ventures in Belarus would be to mutual benefit." We can establish joint ventures for production of agriculture equipment and increase cooperation in exploring hydrocarbon energy and modernisation of petrochemical set ups." Minister Dr. Purandeswari expressed happiness that Belarus is participating as the partner country in this year's India International Trade Fair.

 

  • In a bilateral meeting with Canadian Minister of International Trade and Minister for Asia-Pacific Gateway Mr Edward Fast, Union Minister of Commerce, Industry & Textiles, Shri Anand Sharma suggested that substantial pension funds in Canada-private and public - could be usefully channeled through the Infrastructure Debt Fund. It is to be noted that both the sides have finalised a tripartite agreement for an infrastructure debt funding mechanism linking both lenders and borrowers through the IDF. The IDF would source most of its funding from pension funds, insurance funds and sovereign wealth funds. Shri Sharma also highlighted the need to address the investment asymmetry. Indian investment in Canada is estimated at $ 14.2 billion and Canadian investment in India at nearly $ 4.3 billion. Owing to Canada's healthy banking sector and private equity funds, Shri Sharma also encouraged greater Canadian investment into India. Shri Sharma expressed satisfaction over the negotiations on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). "The negotiations on CEPA are proceeding smoothly, and we hope that it would be finalised by 2013," said Shri Sharma. The sixth round of CEPA negotiations are going to be held in Ottawa from November 14-16, 2012. The bilateral trade between India and Canada during 2011 stood at USD 5.216 billion as against USD 4.088 billion in 2010, registering an increase of 28.35% over the year 2010. In 2011, India's exports to Canada showed an increase of 25%, while the imports from Canada registered an increase of 31.7%, over 2010. The total bilateral trade for the first eight months of this year stood at USD 3.640 billion - a 16.4% increase as compared to the same period for last year.

 

 
 
 
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