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 and is a major source of energy as we import around 17% of our crude oil requirement from the Kingdom.
The diplomatic relations between India and Saudi Arabia were established in 1947. The historic visit of King Abdullah to India in 2006 resulted in the signing of ‘Delhi Declaration’ imparting a fresh momentum to the bilateral relationship. The reciprocal visit by the Indian PM to Saudi Arabia in 2010 raised the level of engagement to Strategic Partnership. The 'Riyadh Declaration' was signed during the visit to enhance cooperation in political, economic, security and defence realms.
The visit of PM Modi to Riyadh in April 2016 can be seen as the turning point in our growing engagements, which has taken an upward strategic direction. During His Royal Highness the Crown Prince’s visit to India in February 2019, the two sides agreed on further deepening trade and investment cooperation by aligning the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and 13 Vision Realization Programs with India’s flagship initiatives of 'Make in India', 'Startup India', 'Smart Cities', 'Clean India', and 'Digital India'.
Saudi Arabia is India’s 4th largest trade partner and a major source of its crude oil imports (17%). During 2018-19, India's imports from Saudi Arabia reached $ 22.1 bn with key imports including mineral fuels and oil. On the other hand, India's exports to Saudi Arabia reached $ 5.4 bn during the same period, with key exports including cereals and organic chemicals.
For India, Saudi Arabia is the 15th largest market for its exports with a share of over 1.8% in the country's total exports during 2017-18. For Saudi Arabia, India is the 4th largest market for its exports with a share of over 8.8% in its total exports in 2017.
For India, Saudi Arabia is the 3rd largest source of imports with over 4.7% share in the country's total imports during 2017-18. For Saudi Arabia, India is the 7th largest source of imports with over 4.1% share in the country's total imports.
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 inaugural celebrations of Yoga in the public domain in the Kingdom. The event witnessed huge participation from Saudis, diplomatic corps, officials, journalists, businessmen and Indian diaspora.
Haj Pilgrimage is an important component of bilateral relations. The Haj quota was increased by 5,000 in 2018, enabling 175,025 Indians to undertake the sacred pilgrimage. A large number of Indians also visit the Kingdom to perform Umrah every year.
India successfully participated as ‘Guest of Honour’ in the 32nd edition of the prestigious Saudi National Festival of Heritage and Culture – Al Jenadriyah in February 2018. The privilege of 'Guest of Honour’ comes in the backdrop of the historic visit of the Indian PM to Riyadh in April 2016 and the ever-strong bilateral relations.
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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