Saudi Arabia favours stronger ties with India

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador Saud Al-Sati.   | Photo Credit: G. RAMAKRISHNA

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador Saud Al-Sati on Monday said Saudi Arabia viewed India as a strategic partner in its Vision 2030 programme and was also keen on being a part of India’s march to becoming $5 trillion economy by 2025.

Infrastructure, mining, energy, renewable energy, agriculture technology transfer, information technology, electronics and communication were some of the areas offering scope for enhancing the engagement between the two countries. The bilateral trade was around $34 billion now.

Energy cooperation was the key pillar to the strategic partnership between the two countries and offered immense scope for growth. However, “from a purely buyer seller relationship, we are now moving towards to a more dynamic relationship involving Saudi investment in downstream oil and gas projects in India,” the Ambassador told an interactive session, with industry representatives, organised by the FICCI Telangana State Council here.

A huge untapped potential is available in merchandise trade, particularly non-oil trade, and “we are enhancing cooperation in technological, economic and cultural fields,” he said, adding 30 of the 267 new foreign investors granted licenses by Saudi Arabia in the first quarter of 2019 were Indian companies.

Earlier this year both the countries had identified 40 opportunities of joint collaboration and investment across different sectors, he said, adding under the Vision 2030 programme Saudi Arabia sought to create a thriving economy and a vibrant society.

About three million Indians live and work in Saudi, forming the largest expat community in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia had also created a residency permit scheme for qualified international expats, a move aimed at attracting global entrepreneurs, innovators and investors from across the world to live and work in the country, the Ambassador said.

With a $12 billion IT market and $10 billion emerging technology market, Saudi Arabia was one of the most attractive economies, Mr.Al-Sati said. In March, Saudi Arabia, he added, will host the Global AI Summit to promote the development of AI and related technologies.

Chairman of FICCI Telangana State Council T.Muralidharan said Saudi Arabia was an important stakeholder in India’s progress through investments, trade and energy. A great partnership is evolving between the two countries, he added.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 8:38:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/saudi-arabia-favours-stronger-ties-with-india/article30259518.ece

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