Saudi Arabia to Establish a SWF to Funnel Investments into Indian Startups
By: Asia Business Outlook Team | Tuesday, 12 September 2023
Saudi Arabia is considering establishing a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) office in India to facilitate investments in the country. Furthermore, the country intends to invest in Indian start-ups through venture capital.
Khalid A. Al Falih, the country's Investment Minister, announced on Sept 11 that a delegation would travel to India in the coming weeks to investigate the opportunity. He also stated that his delegation would visit Gift City, as well as Mumbai and New Delhi.
"I will match your offer and commit today to opening an office in India for investment facilitation," Al Falih said. We're discussing bi-directional (facilitation)."
The Investment Minister made the announcement at the India-Saudi Arabia Investment Forum, which was also attended by India's Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
The Saudi Minister also expressed an interest in investing in Indian start-ups that serve the Saudi market through 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 said.
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 the 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 FICCI and Invest India and some officials of the commerce and industry ministry will partner. "