India can help Saudi Arabia with its economic goals, says PM Narendra Modi

India is Saudi Arabia's fourth largest trading partner, with bilateral trade worth $27.5 billion last year
India can help Saudi Arabia with its economic goals, says PM Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi said that India can offer Saudi Arabia assistance in the healthcare, tourism and entertainment sectors.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Wed 20 Feb 2019 10:42 AM

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in the Indian capital of New Delhi on Tuesday night for a two-day state visit in which he is expected to announce a number of investments into India’s infrastructure and energy sectors.

The Saudi Crown Prince was met at the airport by Indian Prime Minister Narenra Modi, along with Indian Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh, Saudi ambassador to India Saud Al-Sati and a number of other dignitaries.

“India is delighted to welcome HRH Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,” Modi tweeted after the arrival.

In an interview with Saudi Gazette, Modi said that during the visit the two will work towards facilitating Saudi investment in India.

“India’s relations with Saudi Arabia have emerged as one of the defining bilateral relationships in India’s extended neighbourhood,” he said.

“The elevation of this relationship to a ‘Strategic Partnership’ and Saudi Arabia identifying India as one of the eight strategic partners in its future growth is a testimony to the significance attached by both the countries.”

Modi added that energy is a key focus of discussions during the visit.

“It is satisfying that our bilateral trade in the energy sector is growing steadily,” he said. “Both India and Saudi Arabia emphasize the important of renewable energy resources. We have developed expertise and technologies in the field of solar and wind energy. We are ready to share our experience with Saudi Arabia in these fields.”

Additionally, Modi said that India welcomes Saudi Aramco’s 50 percent partnership in the $44 billion Ratnagiri refinery project, as well as SABIC’s interest in investing in India.

The Prime Minister said that India can offer Saudi Arabia assistance in the healthcare, tourism and entertainment sectors.

“India has great potential for developing tourism, health and entertainment sectors, which are key areas under the Saudi Vision 2030,” he said. “India is every ready to complement the initiatives taken by the Saudi leadership to transform its economy.”

India is Saudi Arabia’s fourth largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching $27.5 billion. Saudi Arabia also provides 20 percent of the crude oil that India requires.

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