New Delhi — Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman’s visit to India presents a historic opportunity to expand collaboration in all sectors, Saudi Ambassador to India Saud Mohammad Al-Sati told Press Trust of India.
“Saudi Arabia and India share age-old ties of friendship that are deepening with each passing day. Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman’s visit to India is highly anticipated and presents a historic opportunity to expand collaboration between our two friendly countries in all fields,” he said.
Under Prince Salman’s leadership Saudi Arabia is at the cusp of path-breaking transformation, the ambassador said.
“In our common pursuit for development and stability, Saudi Arabia sees India as an important strategic partner and valued friend,” he said.
India and Saudi Arabia have historically enjoyed close and friendly relations anchored in mutually beneficial partnership and extensive people to people contacts.
In recent years, there has been significant progress in bilateral cooperation in key areas of mutual interest, including energy security, trade & investment, infrastructure, defense and security.
Bilateral trade was US$ 27.48 billion during the last financial year 2017-18, making Saudi Arabia India’s fourth largest trading partner. Bilateral trade during April–November 2018 reached US$23.24 billion.
Saudi Arabia contributes significantly to India’s energy security needs by supplying about 20% of crude requirements.
Recently, Saudi ARAMCO in partnership with ADNOC
of UAE has entered into a Joint Venture for US$44 billion Ratnagiri Refinery and Petro-Chemical project Ltd.
About 2.7 million strong and vibrant Indian community forms the largest expatriate group in Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom also facilitates Haj pilgrimage to over 1,75,000 Indians every year. — SG