Arab companies to invest $150 bln in India's infrastructure project

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New Delhi, Apr 17 (UNI) In a bid to strengthen Indo-Arab trade relations, India has identified investment projects worth over 150 billion dollars in areas of real estate, healthcare, education, and tourism, an industry body said here today.

The investment proposals will be discussed and finalised at the India-Arab Investment Projects Conclave to be held here tomorrow.

The two-day long conclave is being organised by Indo-Arab Economic Forum (IAEF), an initiative of FICCI, for deepening the economic engagement between India and the Arab world.

The Conclave will be inaugurated by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, and CEOs of over 100 companies from 13 Arab countries will participate in the event.

''There is heightened interest across the Arab countries to invest in areas such as infrastructure, real estate, transportation and healthcare, education, IT and ITeS, and agro-processing in India and the Conclave aims at translating investment proposals into concrete projects,'' said FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra.

Sixty nine projects in areas such as real estate, healthcare, education, and tourism worth over 150 billion dollars for investment from Arab countries have been identified, he added.

It has been envisaged to create a long-term economic structure with a capability to provide a major platform for exploring investment and business opportunities in projects of all dimensions namely mega, large, medium and small, in India and in Arab countries.

''Today, both India and Arab countries have recognised the need for a diverse trade basket. Also, investors, investment agencies and businesses from India and the Arab world seem to have realised that it is imperative for them to initiate the process in which they would be equal partners for ensuring its success,'' Dr Mitra said.

The major sectors that have attracted Arab interest include infrastructure (112 billion dollars), SEZs (12 billion dollars), agro and food processing (900 million dollars), real estate (700 million dollars) and oil and gas (500 million dollars).

Ministers and high officials from Sudan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia will be present along with majority of Arab League Ambassadors in the country to discuss business during the Conclave.

The event will focus especially on sectors such as construction, banking, venture capital and insurance, chemicals and petrochemicals, minerals and metals, oil and gas (upstream and downstream), technical collaboration and expanding the scale of operations in unexplored markets in both India and in Arab countries.

The projects, which are open for investments, JVs and transfer of technical know-how and expertise relate to developing commercial complexes, housing projects, townships in real estate sector.

UNI SR SG GC1925

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