SAUDI ARABIA TO FORM SPC WITH 8 COUNTRIES
(7) South Korea
The SPC was agreed in February this year and aims to monitor the Strategic partnership between both countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an interview to Arab News said, “with the signing of an agreement on a Strategic Partnership Council, already robust and deep bilateral ties in various fields will only strengthen further.”
PM ON TERRORISM
PM Modi said, “Asian powers like India and Saudi Arabia share similar security concerns in their neighborhood. In that respect, I am happy that our cooperation, particularly in the field of counterterrorism, security and strategic issues, is progressing very well.”
PM ON GLOBAL ECONOMY
PM Modi Said, “Global economic outlook is strongly dependent on the path chartered by the large developing countries and we sincerely believe that we need collective efforts, for the growth of all, with everyone’s trust (Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishvas) . Economic uncertainty is an offshoot of unbalanced multilateral trade systems. Within the G20, India and Saudi Arabia have been working together to reduce inequality and promote sustainable development.
PM HIGHLIGHTS INDIA’s GROWTH STORY
India has undertaken many reforms to create a business-friendly environment. PM Modi said, “Reforms for ease of doing business and introducing investor-friendly initiatives have contributed to improving our position in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index from 142 in 2014 to 63 in 2019.”
PM Modi also highlighted number of major flagship initiatives, like Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, Swachh bharat, Smart Cities and Startup India, are also offering a lot of opportunities to foreign investors.
PM ON ENERGY SECURITY
India imports around 18 percent of its crude oil from the Kingdom, making it the second-largest source of crude oil for India.
PM Modi said, “from a purely buyer-seller relationship, we are now moving toward a closer strategic partnership that will include Saudi investments in downstream oil and gas projects.We believe that stable oil prices are crucial for the growth of the global economy, particularly for developing countries. Saudi Aramco is participating in a major refinery and petrochemical project on India’s west coast. We are also looking forward to the participation of Aramco in India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves.”
SAUDI ARABIA’S MASSIVE $100 BILLION INVESTMENT IN INDIA
One of the major areas of cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia is in investments in infrastructure projects. During his visit to India in February 2019, the crown prince had indicated an intent to invest in excess of $100 billion in India across various sectors.
PM Modi said, “We welcome greater Saudi investments in our infrastructure projects, including the Smart Cities program. We also welcome Saudi interest in investing in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.”
BOOSTING PEOPLE TO PEOPLE
During PM Modi’s visit this time, India and Saudi Arabia plan to enter into agreements in various areas, including defense, security, renewable energy etc. Other major initiatives include:-
(1) The proposal to launch the RuPay card in the Kingdom, which will facilitate payments and remittances by the Indian diaspora
(2) Integration of the e-Migrate and e-Thawtheeq portals, which will facilitate the process of migration of Indian labor into the Kingdom
(3) An agreement on training diplomats in our respective academies.
PM Modi said, “India is known for its world-class capacity-building centers, and there are many initiatives to provide training to the Saudi youth in different fields. We are also discussing mutual cooperation in the field of space research.
PM MODI’S MESSAGE TO THE INDIAN DIASPORA IN SAUDI ARABIA
Nearly 2.6 million Indians have made Saudi Arabia their second home, contributing to its growth and development. Many Indians also visit the Kingdom every year for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage, and for business purposes.
PM said, “My message to my fellow citizens is that your country is proud of the place that you have made for yourself in the Kingdom, and your hard work and commitment have helped to generate a lot of goodwill for the overall bilateral relationship. I am confident that you will continue to remain the binding force in our ties with the Kingdom, and further contribute to the strengthening of the historic ties between the two countries, which are based on people-to-people contacts over several decades.”
– By Arun Sharma