India and Saudi Arabia on Friday agreed to increase investments in each other’s country through joint ventures to enhance economic cooperation.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Saudi Arabian Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah bin Ahmed Zainal Alireza, who met here, agreed to regular exchange of business delegations to sensitise the businesspersons in both the countries.

“Sharma said that India is keen to set up Joint Ventures for gas-based fertilizer plant in Saudi Arabia. Indian firms have evinced keen interest in setting up of such projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” an official statement said.

India received foreign direct investment worth $31.5 million between April 2000 and August 2010 from Saudi Arabia.

The main sectors that attracted FDI are electrical equipments, food processing, automobile, computer software and hardware and telecommunications.

Sharma said that immense potential was available for both the nations to take the bilateral trade relations to a higher level.

He informed Alireza that strategies should be developed to increase the trade volume in traditional items and diversify the trade basket, it said.

The bilateral trade between countries increased to $21 billion in 2009-10 from $3.44 billion in 2005-06.

Petroleum products, basmati rice, machinery and coal tar are major items exported to Saudi Arabia while products imported from Saudi Arabia include petroleum products, chemicals and plastic.

More In: Industry | Business