India to play a key role in our economic transformation: KSA

India to play a key role in our economic transformation: KSA

Bilateral trade between India and Saudi Arabia in 2015 was nearly $40 billion.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Saudi Arabia invited India to play a major role in the Gulf nation’s economic transformation as it looks to reduce its dependency on oil exports after a long period of decline in crude oil prices and rise of use of new fuels by expanding its income sources and to attract foreign investment.

We are now looking to a post-oil age that will usher in an era of world-class technological research, start-up development, entrepreneurial vigor and vast investment opportunities. We welcome India as a central participant in this exciting new phase of our country's profound growth,” said Saud Al Sati, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to India at the ongoing Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Gandhinagar on Wednesday.

A business delegation of 20 high-profile members has been sent by the Kingdom to investors' meet.

In his address at the summit, the Saudi envoy explained the Kingdom's Vision 2030, which aimed to transform the complete foundation of the nation’s economy.

“With this program, our aim is to free the Kingdom’s economy from oil dependency by diversifying the sources of income of Saudi nation, attracting foreign investment and establishing Saudi Arabia as a manufacturing hub,” Al Sati said.

“While the 'Vision 2030' of Saudi Arabia emphasises to focus on non-hydrocarbon sector in future, the economy’s oil sector will, of course, remain important for years to come, and the Kingdom will continue to meet the energy needs of India,” he added.

The Ambassador recalled the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visit to the Gulf nation in 2010 and the inking of the Riyadh Declaration taking bilateral relations to a new era of strategic ties, leading to greater cooperation in economic, political, defence and security spheres.

Mentioning that bilateral trade between the nations in 2015 was nearly $40 billion, with India importing one-fifth of its oil requirements from Saudi Arabia, the Saudi envoy stated some recent milestones in India-Saudi Arabia economic ties.

Last year, in April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Gulf nation and signed five new bilateral agreements, covering various areas such as increasing private investment in pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, transport and energy, intelligence-sharing on terrorism financing, and enhancing defense cooperation.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Jan 12, 2017 12:00 IST