Hyderabad, February 6 : Ambassador of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to India Dr Saud Mohammed Ali Sati on Thursday expressed confidence that the demand for setting up a Saudi Consulate in the city would be realised soon. However, he said that the proposal needs further assessment.
Addressing a luncheon meeting hosted by former minister Mohammad Ali Shabbir at his residence at Jubilee Hills, the Ambassador, who was on his maiden visit to Hyderabad, said that he was trying to learn about the people, business and lifestyle of Hyderabadis. He invited the businessmen from Hyderabad to explore investment opportunities in various fields in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Referring to the demand for simplification of rules to perform Umra, he said that the Embassy would make all efforts to make issuing of Umra visa a very easy and quick process. However, he said the present rules were framed as part of an agreement between the Saudi and Indian Governments.
Later,Mohamad Shabbir Ali told reporters that of three lakh Indian professionals working in Saudi Arabia, nearly 2.5 lakh hail from Andhra Pradesh. Besides them, about 11,000 pilgrims go for Haj and 50,000 for Umra pilgrimage every year. Therefore, he said that setting up of a consulate in Hyderabad would be beneficial, not only for the locals, but for entire South India.
Shabbir Ali said that the same issues were discussed when the Ambassador had a meeting with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy. He said that the Chief Minister has offered to extend all facilities to the Saudi investors, especially in the fields of IT, Pharma and other sectors.
Major Industries Minister D J Geetha Reddy, who attended the luncheon meeting, told INN that a potential has to be created to improve trade relations between the two countries. He stressed the need for sending bilateral trade delegations. INN