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Powerful biz team with PM on Saudi visit

Source: PTI
February 17, 2010 19:30 IST

Reliance Industries' Mukesh Ambani, IT honchos Azim Premji and S Ramadorai and chairmen of oil PSUs will accompany Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his maiden visit to Saudi Arabia from February 27 when the two countries will ink nine pacts.

Arguably the most powerful, the industrial delegation would explore strategic relations with the oil rich nation during Singh's two-day visit during which a contract to set up a $750 million joint investment fund will be signed to which Saudi Arabia will contribute $500 million.

Aimed at expanding the strategic partnership that was reached between the two countries during the trip of Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz in January 2006, when he was the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations, and will particularly focus on increasing ties in energy sector and IT.

The high level delegation to the oil-rich nation will also include L&T chairman A M Naik, State Bank of India chairman O P Bhatt, oil PSU chiefs R S Sharma (ONGC), Ashok Sinha (BPCL) and Sarthak Behuria (IOC), said sources.
An Extradition Treaty, an Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners and two pacts in IT sector will be signed during the Prime Minister's visit.

Sources said Saudi Arabia has witnessed a massive jump in energy exports from $500 million in 2006 to $23 billion in 2008 and discussions were underway for joint investments by Indian and Saudi Arabian companies in energy sector.

There is also a proposal for setting up an office of Saudi petroleum giant Aramco in India to push cooperation in energy sector.

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