Saudi Arabia, India to ease visa regulations

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Dubai, Apr 21: Saudi Arabia and India have agreed to simplify visa regulations for businessmen and entrepreneurs by granting long-duration multiple-entry permits and set up a Saudi India investment fund.

Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee held a two-hour-long meeting with his Saudi counterpart Prince Saud Al-Faisal in Riyadh yesterday and the two leaders agreed on a number of issues, including liberalisation of business visa regulations, setting up Saudi-India Fund and the enforcement of Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Treaty.

''The climate is ripe for Saudi Arabia and India to have concrete proposals on a number of issues concerning the bilateral relations,'' Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission at Indian Embassy Rajeev Shahare, who attended the meeting along with the Saudi Ambassador to India Salah Al-Ghamdi, quoted Prince Saud as saying.

The two sides underscored the importance of private sectors from both countries playing a key role by establishing a number of joint ventures, enhanced trade and investment activities, he said.

The Saudi side has accepted a proposal to establish Saudi-India Fund, which will act as a catalytic agent in initiating a momentum in further strengthening the relations between the two private sectors.

Mr Shahare said Prince Saud called on Indian businessmen to visit his country and explore business opportunities with Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation and Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

On India's part, Mr Mukherjee highlighted the country's infrastructure development plans.

UNI

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