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MENAFN - Arab News - 18/12/2013
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(MENAFN - Arab News) The Indo-Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industries has offered support to young Saudi businessmen and engineers to set up small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by providing them with training and technology.
"During our roadshow here, I met 27 Saudi engineering students who want to do business with India and get training to start their own SMEs in Kingdom. I was really impressed by their innovative ideas," Sunanda Rajendran, the chamber's executive director told Arab News.
"Our chamber is ready to invite these young Saudi men and women to India to provide them with training in areas where they want to open enterprises," Rajendran said while urging more Saudi businessmen and businesswomen to invest in her country.
She described Saudi Arabia as a fastest growing economy in the Middle East, with greater potential than any other country in the region. She also highlighted the growing Saudi-Indian economic and trade relations.
"Trade exchanges between the two countries are expected to hit 50 billion shortly. We are now seeking more Saudi investment, especially in education, healthcare, energy and power and tourism," she said.
Saudi Arabia is the fourth largest trading partner of India, Rajendran said. "We have identified 133 Indian companies to register with Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and hope at least half of that number from Saudi companies to invest in India," she said.
Speaking about the roadshow, she said the chamber has brought 20 companies specialized in areas urgently required by Saudi Arabia to offer their technology and services to their Saudi counterparts, especially in the areas of energy, education, vocational training, security systems and IT applications.
She disclosed plans to hold Indian trade and cultural festivals in Jeddah, Riyh and Dammam in September with the support of the two governments and their embassies. The festival will include exhibitions, seminars and cultural programs.

"It will showcase India's products and capabilities including handicrafts and textiles and we are hopeful it would attract a large number of Saudis. We intend to have pavilions of different states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Kerala so that Saudis can see the cultural variety of India and this will help attract more Saudi tourists to our country," she said.
"We have not yet finalized its dates and programs. We need sufficient time to do marketing and get visas." Rajendran wanted to organize the festival on a large-scale to get an international exposure.
The IACCI executive director highlighted the incentives offered by the Indian government to foreign investors. "It is easy to get licenses and investors are assured of full protection and 100 percent repatriation of profits in addition to tax benefits one-shop services. We have publicized a book called Doing Business in India."
Rajendran stressed that Indian companies dealing with Saudi businessmen should use the assistance of an interpreter to overcome the language barrier. "If they cannot afford or find one we are ready to help them," she said.
She said her chamber was not facing any problem to get Saudi business visas. "I have been receiving one-year multiple entry visas for the last 10 years. I have been receiving this visa without any letter from the Indian Embassy or consulate," she pointed out. "We have to follow the Kingdom's rules and regulations, which are made for our own security and safety. If you suffer even after following the law, then your complaint is justified." She advised Indian companies to try to get visas through their Saudi counterparts rather than agents.


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