Close geographical proximity, cultural affinity, natural synergies and common challenges and opportunities have added momentum to this robust engagement. Saudi Arabia today is our 4th largest trade partner (after China, USA and Japan) and is a major source of energy as we import around 17% of our crude oil requirement from the Kingdom.
On the invitation of His Majesty King Salman, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi paid an official visit to Riyadh from 28-29 October 2019 during which the Strategic Partnership Council Agreement was signed, identifying India as one of the Kingdom’s Strategic Partner Countries under ‘Vision 2030’ with a high-level partnership council at the leadership level.
During His Royal Highness the Crown Prince’s visit to India in Feb 2019, the two sides agreed on further deepening trade and investment cooperation between the two countries by aligning the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and its 13 Vision Realization Programs with India’s flagship initiatives of "Make in India”, "Start Up India”, "Smart Cities”, "Clean India”, and "Digital India”.
The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Riyadh in 2016 can be seen as a turning point in our growing engagements with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which have taken an upward strategic direction.
The reciprocal visit by then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Saudi Arabia in 2010 raised the level of bilateral engagement to ‘Strategic Partnership’ and the ‘Riyadh Declaration’ signed during the visit enhanced cooperation in political, economic, security and defence realms.
The first India-Saudi Arabia joint naval exercises were held towards the end of December 2019 to the beginning of January 2020
The diplomatic relations between the two countries was established in 1947. The historic visit of King Abdullah to India in 2006 resulted in signing of ‘Delhi Declaration’ imparting a fresh momentum to the bilateral relationship.
Strategic Partnership Council is a holistic institution covering various sectors of cooperation. The SPC has two pillars: i) Political-Security-Socio-Cultural (PSSC); and ii) Economy and Investment. EAM and the Saudi Foreign Minister will co-chair the Political-Security-Socio-Cultural (PSSC) pillar whereas the Economic pillar is to be co-chaired by Commerce & Industry Minister on Indian side and Energy Minister on Saudi side. Under the Economy and Investment pillar 4 JWG’s have been finalized covering the following heads: Industry and Infrastructure; Agriculture and food security; IT and Technology; and Energy.
The landmark visits of Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi to the Kingdom in 2016 and 2019 and the State visit of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to India in February, 2019 has marked a new era in the bilateral relations, which culminated in the setting up of the Strategic Partnership Council (SPC), co-chaired by the two leaders. Besides that, the two sides signed 11 other MoUs in different fields between SA and India.
Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth-largest trade partner and a major source of energy as India imports around 18% of its crude oil requirement from the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia is also a major source of LPG for India. In 2019-20, India-Saudi bilateral trade was worth $33.09 bn. During this period, India’s imports reached $26.85 bn whereas exports to Saudi Arabia reached $6.2 bn. The bilateral trade for the period from April - December 2020 is valued at $15.5 bn.
The business and visit visa fees for the Indian nationals were decreased and fixed on reciprocal terms. Saudi Arabia is the 12th largest market in the world for Indian exports and is the destination to 2.12% (2019-20) of India’s global exports.
Saudi Arabia is the 4th largest source of India’s global imports. In terms of imports by Saudi Arabia, India ranks 7th and is a source of around 4.13% of Saudi Arabia’s total imports.
According to Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), there are 476 Indian companies registered as joint ventures/100% owned entities worth US$ 1.5 billion in the Kingdom as of March, 2020.
Major commodities of export from India to Saudi Arabia include rice, meat, electrical machinery and equipment, vehicles, mineral oils, organic chemicals, ceramic tiles, apparels. Whereas, major commodities of import for India from Saudi Arabia are crude oil, LPG, fertilizers, chemicals, plastic and products thereof, aluminium and its articles, iron and steel, cooper and its articles, raw hides and skin (other than fur skins) and leather etc.
Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth largest trading partner. More than 18% of India’s crude oil imports are sourced from Saudi Arabia. During FY22 (Apr-Dec), bilateral trade was valued at US$29.28 billion. During this period, India’s imports from Saudi Arabia were valued at US$22.65 billion and exports to Saudi Arabia were worth US$6.63 billion.
Saudi Arabia hosts a 2.6 million Indian community which has been living in harmony and contributing to the development and progress of Saudi Arabia. Indians in Saudi Arabia send back remittances to the tune of $11 billion or more annually. India and Saudi Arabia signed during February 2019 MoU on cooperation in the area of tourism. Saudi Arabia has recently opened its door for tourism which will further strengthen these relations. India has extended e-Visa facility to Saudi nationals this year.
On 21 July 2018, the 4th International Day of Yoga was celebrated with fervour in the prestigious Al-Madi Park of the King Abdulaziz Historical Centre, Riyadh. This marked the first celebration of Yoga in public domain in the Kingdom. The event witnessed huge participation from Saudis, diplomatic corps, officials, journalists, businessmen and Indian diaspora. Two Saudi female Yoga trainers led the Yoga demonstrations on the occasion.
Saudi Arabia is the destination of Indian Muslims who go there for performing annual Haj and Umrah. Majesty, the King has agreed to increase the Haj quota for 2019 from 1,75,025 to 2,00,000. This has immediately been implemented this year itself and Besides Haj more than three hundred thousand Indians visit for Umrah every year.
Janadriyah 2018: India successfully participated as ‘Guest of Honour’ in the 32nd edition of the prestigious Saudi National Festival of Heritage and Culture – Janadriyah from 7 – 28 February 2018. The “Guest of Honour’ privilege comes in the backdrop of the historic visit of Hon’ble PM to Riyadh in April 2016 and the historic bilateral relations.
The year 2021-22 commemorates 75 years of India’s independence as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. This celebration also coincides with 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Saudi Arabia. As part of this celebration, the Embassy is conducting a host of events from May 2021 till August 2023, which include cultural events, exhibitions, academic activities like quizzes, international film festivals, and sports activities like golf tournaments and cycle rallies.
Major investment groups from KSA include ARAMCO, SABIC, ZAMIL, E-holidays and Al Batterjee Group. Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund-backed Soft Bank’s ‘Vision Fund’ has invested several billion dollars in Indian Start-ups such as Delhivery, FirstCry, Grofers, Ola, OYO, Paytm and PolicyBazaa
The Saudi Arabian Investment Authority issued 41 project licenses to Indian investors in Saudi Arabia in the first quarter of 2020; while Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Authority announced recently investment of$1.3 billion in Reliance Retail and $1.5 billion in Reliance Jio, amongst other investments.
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund (PIF) is investing $1.3 bn to pick 2.04% equity stake in Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL).
Reliance Industries Ltd has sold a 2.32% stake in its digital unit to Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund for INR 11,367 crore. This is PIF's largest investment into the Indian economy to date and will generate significant long term commercial engagement between India and Saudi Arabia.
The state of Maharashtra has identified the site to set up a $ 44 bn mega oil refinery in partnership with Saudi Arabian and UAE-based oil companies - Saudi Aramco and ADNOC, respectively. This is based on the MoU signed by both the companies last year with a consortium of Indian national oil corporations.
Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden) signed two MoUs worth $ 2 bn with Indian companies - IPL Co. and KRIBHCO for transfer of 5 mn tonnes of phosphate fertilizers from Saudi Arabia to India.
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The World's Most Innovative Investment Promotion Agency Award 2021 awarded by OCO Global
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Investment Promotion Award 2020 for best practices in COVID response
Best Investment Project Award five years in a row - 2016 to 2020 at the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) organized by the Ministry of Economy, UAE.
Great Place to Work Certification by GPTW Survey 2019
The UNCTAD Award 2018 for promoting investment in sustainable development
Great Place to Work Certification by GPTW Survey 2018
Investment Award 2016 from the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Investment Promotion Award 2016 for excellence in partnering for investment promotion