G-20 SUMMIT: HORIZONS OF BILATERAL COOPERATION BETWEEN INDIA AND SAUDI ARABIA

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The 13th Meeting of Group of Twenty (G20) Summit, 2018 was held in the city of Buenos AiresArgentina.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented India’s agenda in the second session of the G20 Summit on international trade, international financial and tax systems. The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Mohammed bin Salman was also present in the G20 Summit.

PM Narendra Modi met with KSA Prince in the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on 30th November 2018 to discuss ways to further boost economic, cultural and energy ties between the two countries.

In the meeting, Crown Prince explored investment prospects in India. Further, PM Modi discussed scaling up of KSA’s investments in India to leverage India’s fast-growing economy to which the Crown Prince said that KSA will soon be finalising an initial investment in India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, a quasi-sovereign wealth fund, to help accelerate the building of ports, highways and other projects.

Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, who was accompanying Modi to the G20, said that “the Crown Prince also referred to future projects for investments, in sectors such as technology, energy and farm,”.

Further, following are the investment and trade cooperation plans discussed between PM Modi and the Crown Prince:

  1. The KSA Prince discussed opportunities in agricultural field by replacing imports of agricultural produce of India from other countries.
  2. Saudi oil giant Aramco’s investment in refineries in India, including the company’s project to build a large refinery on the western coast of India;
  3. In the energy sector, the Crown Prince assured to supply petroleum products to India, which is currently facing issues due to rise in price of petrol.
  4. The import of crude oil by India forms a major component of bilateral trade with KSA being India’s one of the largest suppliers of crude oil, accounting for almost one-fifth of its needs.
  5. Invest in solar energy through Soft Bank’s Vision Fund and through the KSA’s companies which will build solar energy projects in India and promote opportunities to export Saudi non-oil products to India. coping

The meeting with the KSA Prince was PM Modi’s first bilateral trade discussion on the sidelines of the G20 followed by meetings with the USA President, Donald Trump and China President, Xi Jinping.

PM Modi took great initiatives for deepening trade ties between Indian and KSA with an aim to enhancing investment opportunities by KSA in India varied sectors such as technology, infrastructure, petroleum, renewable energy, food security, fintech and defence.

Taruna Verma

Senior Associate

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