September 12, 2023
NEW DELHI – Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud, on Monday, held the first Leaders’ Meeting of the India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council and identified several initiatives to take the partnership to the next level.
The prime minister said he had “very productive talks” with the Saudi leader. “We reviewed our trade ties and are confident that the commercial linkages between our nations will grow even further in the times to come. The scope for cooperation in grid connectivity, renewable energy, food security, semiconductors, and supply chains is immense,” he said.
Mr Modi said the two countries’ Strategic Partnership Council was set up during his visit to Saudi Arabia four years ago and since then it has contributed to the growth of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia is today one of India’s most important strategic partners and as two of the large and fast-growing economies of the world, their cooperation can contribute significantly to peace and stability in the region, the Prime Minister said.
The Strategic Partnership Council discussed a broad range of areas of bilateral cooperation, including energy security, trade and investment, defence and security, healthcare, food security, culture and community welfare issues among others.
During the talks, the two prime ministers reviewed various facets of bilateral ties and discussed ways to further unlock the potential of the India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership. Mr Modi thanked the Crown Prince for his contribution to the success of the G20 Summit.
Mr. Modi said yesterday a decision has been taken to start a historic economic corridor between India, West Asia, and Europe. He said this corridor will not only connect the two countries but also help in providing economic growth and digital connectivity between Asia, West Asia and Europe. Under the leadership of the Crown Prince and Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has seen tremendous economic growth, Mr Modi said.
The Crown Prince said there was no disagreement at all during the history of the India-Saudi Arabia relationship, and there is cooperation to build the future of the countries and create opportunities.
He said today, both nations are working on future opportunities. He congratulated Mr. Modi on the management of the G-20 Summit and the initiatives achieved, including the Economic Corridor linking the Middle East, India, and Europe.
After the Council meeting, the two leaders signed the minutes of the first meeting of the India-Saudi Strategic Partnership Council.
The Crown Prince is on a three-day state visit to India and was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt on Monday morning. President Droupadi Murmu and the prime minister welcomed him. Mr Modi tweeted: “India looks forward to deepening ties with Saudi Arabia across a wide range of sectors.”
The two countries signed as many as eight agreements during the state visit of the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Monday.
Among them, the two countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of energy. The MoU will support India’s efforts for energy transition and transformation of the global energy system towards combating climate change.
According to the MoU, the two countries will cooperate in renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Hydrogen, Electricity and Grid Interconnection between the two countries, Petroleum, Natural Gas, Strategic Petroleum Reserves and Energy Security.
India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations reflecting centuries-old economic and socio-cultural ties. India is the second largest trade partner for Saudi Arabia, whereas Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth largest trading partner.
During the Financial Year 2022-23, bilateral trade between them was valued at over 52 billion dollars. Saudi direct investments in India amount to over three billion dollars. Energy cooperation forms a central pillar of the Indo-Saudi bilateral ties. Saudi Arabia is a key partner for India for ensuring energy security. It remained India’s third-largest crude and petroleum products