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India invites Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to be 2017 Republic Day Chief Guest

This year, Modi visited Saudi Arabia where he was conferred with that Gulf nation's highest civilian honour, the King Abdulaziz Sash, and then Iran soon thereafter

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Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Wikimedia
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Oct 02, 2016: In what can be seen as a bid to strengthen ties with the Gulf region that is home to a large population of expatriates, India has invited Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to be the chief guest at next year’s Republic Day celebrations.

“We hope 2 welcome a dear friend of India, HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, as Republic Day 2017 Chief Guest,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted on Sunday evening.

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After Act East, India has been following a policy of Think West encompassing the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that are home to around seven million expatriate Indians, most of whom are blue-collar workers involved in the infrastructure sector.

This honour to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), of which Abu Dhabi is the biggest constituent, and is home to around two million expatriate Indians comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to it in August last year.

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The Prime Minister addressed a huge diaspora rally at the Dubai Cricket Stadium during the visit.

The GCC comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

This year, Modi visited Saudi Arabia where he was conferred with that Gulf nation’s highest civilian honour, the King Abdulaziz Sash, and then Iran soon thereafter.

Prime MInister Narendra  Modi was conferred with the Gulf nation's Highest Civilian Honour , 'the King Abdulaziz Sash' on his visit to saudia arabia earlier this year.
Prime Minister Narendra  Modi was conferred with the Gulf nation’s highest Civilian Honour , ‘the King Abdulaziz Sash’ on his visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this year. Wikimedia

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The last time a leader from the Gulf region graced the Republic Day as chief guest was when then King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud visited India in 2006. (IANS)

 

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Saudi Arabia’s Sovereign Fund Invested $1 Billion In An American Electric Car Manufacturer

Saudi Arabia's 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has talked about using the PIF to help diversify the economy of the kingdom.

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Derek Jenkins, VP of Design at Lucid Motors, introduces the alpha prototype of the Lucid Air at the 2017 New York International Auto Show in New York City. VOA

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund invested $1 billion Monday in an American electric car manufacturer just weeks after Tesla CEO Elon Musk earlier claimed the kingdom would help his own firm go private.

Tesla stock dropped Monday on reaction to the news, the same day that the Saudi fund announced it had taken its first loan, an $11 billion borrowing from global banks as it tries to expand its investments.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund said it would invest the $1 billion in Newark, California-based Lucid Motors.

Lucid Motors
Lucid Motors. Flickr

The investment “will provide the necessary funding to commercially launch Lucid’s first electric vehicle, the Lucid Air, in 2020,” the sovereign wealth fund said in a statement. “The company plans to use the funding to complete engineering development and testing of the Lucid Air, construct its factory in Arizona, enter production for the Lucid Air to begin the global rollout of the company’s retail strategy starting in North America.”

Lucid issued a statement quoting Peter Rawlinson, its chief technology officer, welcoming the investment.

“At Lucid, we will demonstrate the full potential of the electric-connected vehicle in order to push the industry forward,” he said.

The decision comes after Musk on Aug. 7 tweeted that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private. Investors pushed Tesla’s shares up 11 percent in a day, boosting its valuation by $6 billion.

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Electric Car

There are multiple reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the disclosure, including asking board members what they knew about Musk’s plans. Experts say regulators likely are investigating if Musk was truthful in the tweet about having the financing set for the deal. Musk later said the Saudi Public Investment Fund would be investing in the firm, something Saudi officials never comment on.

Meanwhile Monday, the sovereign wealth fund known by the acronym PIF said it had taken its first loan, an $11 billion borrowing. It did not say how it would use the money, only describing it as going toward “general corporate purposes.”

Also Read: Electric Cars: The Newest Trend in India

The Las Vegas-based Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute estimates the Saudi fund has holdings of $250 billion. Those include a $3.5 billion stake in the ride-sharing app Uber.

Saudi Arabia’s 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has talked about using the PIF to help diversify the economy of the kingdom, which relies almost entirely on money made from its oil sales. (VOA)