At a time when India is faced with a slump in the economy, the world’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, says it is likely to invest $100 billion in sectors such as petrochemicals, mining and infrastructure considering the country’s growth potential. In an interview with news agency PTI, Saudi Ambassador Dr. Saud bin Mohammed Al Sati, said that the Arab nation is looking forward to a long-term partnership with New Delhi in important areas such as gas, oil and mining.
The news comes on the heels of a partnership between Reliance Industries Ltd and Saudis’ biggest oil giant Aramco. This reflects the strategic nature of the growing energy ties between both countries. The ambassador said that Aramco’s proposed investments in India’s energy sector such as the $44 billion West Coast refinery and petrochemical project in Maharashtra as well as their long-term partnership with Reliance represents strategic milestones in the bilateral relationship between both countries.
Saudi Arabia is a key pillar in India’s energy security, sourcing at least 17 percent crude oil and another 32 percent LPG requirements. The envoy also confirmed that ‘Vision 2030’ of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would result in the notable expansion of trade and business between both nations. Reportedly, more than 40 opportunities for joint collaboration and investment across various sectors have been identified in 2019.
Al Sati said there is untapped potential in merchandise trade, particularly in non-oil trade as the kingdom continues to enhance cooperation in economic, investment, commercial, technological as well as cultural fields. Talking of Vision 2030, he said Saudi is working towards transforming its economy and developing a post-oil age of world-class tech research and entrepreneurial scope as the country wants to reduce its dependency on oil and diversify the entire economy.
The whole plan of further developing the kingdom rests on three pillars – building a diverse society, fruitful economy and ambitious nation. According to the Ambassador, the World Bank too ranked Saudi as the fourth largest reformer within G20 and the number of foreign investment licenses sanctioned in the kingdom in the first quarter of 2018 increased by 130 percent.