Saudi Arabia and India ties have undergone a major transformation in recent times. The camaraderie between the 2 nations is rooted in our cultural and civilisational ties. The Kingdom and India share mutual respect and appreciation which opens doorways for our collaboration and partnership. These ties have been cemented by diplomatic visits made by leaders from each nations. The go to of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister then, to New Delhi in February 2019 and the Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s go to to Riyadh in October of the identical 12 months are two watershed moments in our journey of strategic ties. These two high-level visits anchored the historic formation of Strategic Partnership Council (SPC) on the management degree.
Throughout these visits, each nations concluded numerous MoUs for a number of sectors together with power, civil aviation, safety, defence manufacturing, regulation of medical merchandise, strategic petroleum reserves, small and medium scale industries, and the coaching of diplomats in our respective academies. The SPC additionally noticed the formation of working teams in a number of sectors important to each nations. Since 2019, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and India have taken a complete evaluation of the agreements and have explored alternatives to work collectively.
Whereas our ties stem from power safety, through the years they’ve percolated into many different sectors, together with pharma, IT and telecommunications. Aside from fulfilling India’s power wants the place the Kingdom alone accounts for 18 per cent of India’s crude oil import, Saudi Arabia can also be the fourth largest buying and selling accomplice of India whereas India is the second largest buying and selling accomplice of Saudi Arabia with our bilateral commerce near $43 billion. A lot of main Indian corporations have additionally arrange a base in Saudi Arabia, signifying the conducive enterprise surroundings within the Kingdom. There are near 750 Indian corporations registered as joint ventures or 100 per cent owned corporations based mostly in Saudi Arabia, additional indicating the robust relationship and belief between the nations. Because the formation of our SPC, the Public Funding Fund (PIF) has made investments of about $2.8 billion in digital and retail sectors of India. Equally, Indian investments in Saudi Arabia have additionally reached $2 billion that are distributed amongst completely different sectors. Saudi Arabia’s Imaginative and prescient 2030 and its 13 imaginative and prescient realisation programmes are carefully aligned with India’s flagship initiatives of Make in India, Begin-up India, Good Cities, Clear India, and Digital India. Each economies have seen strong development within the final decade.
Below the aegis of Imaginative and prescient 2030, Saudi Arabia goals to remodel its economic system and society. Below the management of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and HRH Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Saudi Arabia is present process path-breaking financial and social reforms. The Kingdom has been working in direction of fostering its rising funding sector that may stimulate the economic system. Saudi Arabia, within the second quarter of 2022, signed 49 funding offers in a number of sectors value greater than $925 million. FDI inflows on the similar time stood at $2.11 billion.
The Kingdom, as a part of Imaginative and prescient 2030, has additionally been investing in its tradition with occasions such because the Crimson Sea Movie Pageant, which is devoted to celebrating excellence in cinema and fostering the resurgent inventive power of Saudi and Arab filmmakers. Equally, the launch of the Occasions Funding Fund (EIF) by HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman goals to develop a sustainable infrastructure for the tradition, tourism, leisure, and sports activities sectors throughout the Kingdom. The fund seeks to develop world-class sustainable infrastructure together with indoor arenas, artwork galleries, theatres, convention centres, horse-racing tracks, auto racing tracks, and different amenities throughout the Kingdom.
These alternatives introduced below Imaginative and prescient 2030 may be leveraged by India to put money into the Kingdom. We might additionally prefer to take this chance to congratulate India on its G20 presidency this 12 months. We’re assured that India will lead the worldwide dialog on points associated to local weather change, safety and expertise and so on. The Kingdom’s presidency of G20 in 2020 was a watershed second in its historical past. Via the worldwide confluence of distinguished nations, Saudi Arabia was capable of current its personal imaginative and prescient of constructing a sturdy, sustainable economic system. This has additionally been a key motive behind the rising ties between Saudi Arabia and India. Each nations have now been working carefully collectively in essential fields to realize mutual and strategic targets, in addition to navigating the Covid-19 pandemic and limiting its influence on human capital and financial growth. This was partially achieved by allocating funds to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI), The International Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI), and different worldwide and regional well being organisations and programmes. Via this, the Kingdom was capable of bridge the monetary hole within the struggle in opposition to Covid-19.
Now, with India assuming the G20 presidency, it paves the best way for the proper alternative to maintain significant dialogue round accelerated and inclusive development whereas attaining Sustainable Improvement Targets as the worldwide economic system navigates by way of the post-Covid period.
Amidst present world circumstances, India continues to efficiently manoeuvre itself in direction of larger financial progress, constructed on robust foundations of sustainability and a thriving area people — a feat and imaginative and prescient that it shares with its shut accomplice Saudi Arabia. As India celebrates its 74th Republic Day with a imaginative and prescient of progress and prosperity, we look ahead to strengthening our collaboration with India to drive each our economies and promote peace and stability within the area and the world.
The author is Ambassador of the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques to India