At a time when India is facing a slump in the economy, Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is likely to invest $100 billion in areas of petrochemicals, infrastructure and mining among others, considering the country’s growth potential.
In an interview to news agency PTI, Saudi Ambassador Dr Saud bin Mohammed Al Sati said that the Arab nation is eyeing long-term partnerships with New Delhi in key sectors such as oil, gas and mining. “Saudi Arabia is looking at making investments in India potentially worth $100 billion in the areas of energy, refining, petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture, minerals and mining,” Al Sati said.
This comes on the heels of a partnership between the country’s biggest oil giant Aramco and Reliance Industries Ltd, which reflects the strategic nature of the growing energy ties between the two countries. “Saudi Aramco’s proposed investments in India’s energy sector such as the $44 billion West Coast refinery and petrochemical project in Maharashtra and long term partnership with Reliance represent strategic milestones in our bilateral relationship,” the ambassador said.
Saudi Arabia is a key pillar of India’s energy security, being a source of 17 per cent or more of crude oil and 32 per cent of LPG requirements of India.
Meanwhile, the envoy also said that the vision 2030 of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will also result in a significant expansion of trade and business between the two nations. The envoy highlighted that more than 40 opportunities for joint collaboration and investments across various sectors have been identified in 2019, adding the current bilateral trade of USD 34 billion will undoubtedly continue to increase.
“There is huge untapped potential available in merchandise trade, particularly in non-oil trade and we are enhancing cooperation in economic, commercial, investment, cultural and technological fields,” Al Sati noted.
Talking about ‘Vision 2030’, Al Sati said Saudi Arabia is working towards transforming its economy and looking at a post-oil age of world-class technological research, start-up and entrepreneurial vigour. The country is in the process of shifting its dependency on oil and diversify the Saudi economy.
“The entire development strategy of the kingdom rests on three pillars – to build a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation,” he said. “The World Bank too has ranked the kingdom as the fourth largest reformer within G20. The number of foreign investment licenses granted in Saudi Arabia in the first quarter of 2018 increased by 130 per cent,” he said.