We welcome Arab investment in India: Pranab

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New Delhi, Apr 18 (UNI) Arab investment in India is long overdue and will be welcomed by government and business alike in the country, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here today.

''An expansion of investment footprint of Arab countries in India is long overdue and would be most warmly welcomed by government and business alike,'' Mr Mukherjee told reporters.

Mr. Mukherjee said there is enormous scope for Arab investment in India in diverse areas such as IT, telecom, auto parts, healthcare, biotechnology, food-processing, education, manufacturing, construction and banking services.

''However, the most important opening for the future is the chance for investible capital on one side to combine virtuously with the capacity and experience on the other side,'' he said.

Stating that the country needed an estimated 500 billion dollars towards infrastructure in next few years, the minister said the nation's growth depended largely on ''how we handle investments in infrastructure and remove bottlenecks''.

There are almost 190 Indian companies which have received licence from Saudi Arabia for running their business in the country.

Mr Mukherjee will be part of an Indian delegation, led by the Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia, to Saudi Arabia early May.

He is also travelling to Riyadh tomorrow for two-day official visit.

UNI PDT SG PM1534

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