Most investible sectors of the Indian economy are now open for 100% equity participation under the automatic route for businessmen and enterprises in the Gulf and the rest of the Arab world.

This was stated by Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, in the Lok Sabha, the lower House of India’s Parliament. Automatic route is when entities outside India can invest in the country without prior approval of the government, a WAM report said.

“India continues to open up its sectors to global investors from Arab countries and addresses their concerns on regulatory barriers,” Dr Singh said in answer to Member of Parliament (MP) Rajendra Dhedya Gavit.

Intensified efforts

The MP asked the Minister whether "the government has intensified efforts to invite business leaders from Arab countries for investing in India, and if so, the core areas wherein the government expects investments from these countries.”

Dr Singh replied: “There are several government-to-government and business-to-government mechanisms for the Middle East region such as a High-Level Task Force on Investment with UAE, a Strategic Partnership Council with Saudi Arabia and India-Israel CEO Forum. India has extensive ties with Middle East countries in a wide range of sectors including in the fields of trade and investments.”

“Regular high-level business engagements with the region are held by various Chambers of Commerce and Export Promotion Councils. An India-Arab Partnership Conference on ‘New Horizons in Investment, Trade and Services’ was organised on 11th and 12th July 2023 in New Delhi,” the minister said.

Ease of doing business

The MP asked the Minister about the response of Gulf and Arab business leaders to opportunities and the ease of doing business in India.

Dr Singh said: “Several Sovereign Wealth Funds from the Middle East have invested in sectors such as food, energy, financial services, health, education, information technology, renewable energy and infrastructure in India."

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