AP seeks investment from Saudi Aramco, Fujitsu and others in new technologies

Dara Gopi

Amaravati: On the 3rd day of his 6-day visit to Davos, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu held his first meeting of the day with Amin H Nasser, president and Chief Executive Officer, Saudi Aramco. The Chief Minister mentioned that Andhra Pradesh is endowed with rich natural resources and also spoke on the opportunities available for investment in Andhra Pradesh. 

During the discussion, Nasser and his team said that they are interested in starting a refinery in India. The Chief Minister explained about Andhra Pradesh’s interest in petrochemicals. He also informed them about the Krishna Godavari basin, the idea of Petroleum University, the technology and the skilled manpower that the State has. 

Saudi Aramco representatives said that they want to start collaboration preferably with government, to which the Chief Minister said that possibilities could be explored. The Chief Minister informed the members that land and water will be provided without any hitches.

The representatives have asked the Chief Minister to send a team to Saudi Arabia to look at their facilities to which the Chief Minister had agreed. He has asked the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board to coordinate. The company representatives will send their team to Andhra Pradesh within 15 days to study the possibilities after which the AP team will visit Saudi Arabia. The Chief Minister also invited them to get involved in the proposed petroleum university.

Later, the Chief Minister held a meeting with Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, Paytm. Vijay, while explaining his new business initiatives, told the Chief Minister that he is keen in brining every latest initiative of the Paytm to the State of Andhra Pradesh. Vijay mentioned that starting a bank, 500 million accounts by 2020 and Paytm Bank at every village are some of the targets the company has set. He also added that support will be extended to self-employed groups by giving small loans. During the conversation, the Chief Minister suggested that a digital university should be started in a private-public partnership mode and that Andhra Pradesh will be the best partner to associate with.

Chief Minister and Shailendra Singh, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital, met and discussed ways of collaboration between AP and their company. Sequoia Capital is an American venture capital firm which mainly focuses on the technology industry. They started investing in India 11 years ago. The Chief Minister invited Sequoia Capital to invest in Andhra Pradesh too. The Chief Minister suggested that they should identify projects in Andhra Pradesh and extend funding. “While you concentrate more on technology, and our government encouraging innovation and incubation, we can work together,” said the Chief Minister.

Meeting with Fujitsu

In a meeting with Fujitsu’s Corporate Executive Officer, Nobuhiko Sasaki, the Chief Minister explained the various technologies being used for development and welfare programmes in the State. The Chief Minister showed the Core Dashboard to Nobuhiko and explained how everything is monitored real time.

The Chief Minister enquired if they would provide sensors to collect data on soil moisture, and comprehensive devices for water level, pollution, wind speed and soil quality for increasing agricultural productivity. The representatives from Fujitsu informed that they would send a team to Amaravati to study Andhra Pradesh’s requirements. 

In another meeting Jonathan Schmidt from LuminWorld said that their company can supply technology for clean energy even with coal. They also have solar-powered salt water desalination technology and the company is also into waste management.

The Chief Minister showed interest in waste management and said that the cost of desalination should be worked out. The group will visit AP in February to explore the opportunities.

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