Saudi Gazette report
NEW DELHI — The eagerly awaited official go to of Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman to India holds nice significance for each nations. This go to provides promising prospects for deepening and strengthening bilateral cooperation between the 2 international locations. It marks the fourth high-level go to prior to now eight years, following a previous go to by the Saudi Crown Prince to India in February 2019 and two visits by the Indian Prime Minister to Saudi Arabia in 2016 and 2019.
Lately, each international locations have expressed a need not solely to solidify their bilateral relations but additionally to boost them. Their motivation is pushed by a historic relationship between the world’s largest democracy and the most important financial system within the Arab world and the Center East, together with their fast financial development and collaborative efforts inside the G20 and different worldwide boards. Furthermore, their coordination within the Saudi-Indian Strategic Partnership Council covers quite a few political, safety, financial, and trade-related points.
For India, its relationship with Saudi Arabia holds important significance. Roughly 1.88 million Indians reside in Saudi Arabia, constituting almost 1 / 4 of the overall overseas residents within the nation, as per official figures from final 12 months. Moreover, India closely depends on oil imports from Saudi Arabia to fulfill its vitality wants for its huge financial system, which the Worldwide Financial Fund has deemed a “brilliant spot within the world financial system.”
Alternatively, Saudi Arabia acknowledges India as one of many world’s fastest-growing economies, with a GDP now exceeding $3.1 trillion, making it the fifth-largest financial system globally. Official Indian information reveals that over 20% of India’s crude oil imports come from Saudi Arabia, and in the course of the 2022-2023 fiscal 12 months, Indian imports from Saudi Arabia surpassed $42 billion, with exports to Saudi Arabia reaching $10 billion, a rise of over 22% from the earlier 12 months.
Each leaders, the Saudi Crown Prince and the Indian Prime Minister, have enacted transformative modifications which have propelled each nations towards financial progress and social development. Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed latest reforms undertaken by the Saudi Crown Prince to advertise moderation and openness in Saudi Arabia. In flip, the Saudi Crown Prince expressed admiration for the Indian mannequin of inclusivity, pluralism, and tolerance throughout his official go to to India in February 2019.
Saudi Arabia additionally prolonged help to India in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, sending much-needed oxygen in the course of the second wave when the South Asian nation confronted a extreme oxygen scarcity.
Each nations have collaborated in numerous sectors, aligning with Saudi Arabia’s Imaginative and prescient 2030 growth targets. Areas of cooperation embody boosting bilateral investments and ongoing discussions, in keeping with Indian sources, about cooperation within the digital financial system, mining, refining and petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, schooling, and healthcare.
Diplomatic relations between the 2 international locations date again for over seven many years, with the present 12 months marking the 76th anniversary. Historic sources reveal that relations had been established shortly after India gained independence in 1947. King Faisal, who was Crown Prince on the time, visited India in Could 1955, laying the groundwork for the following growth of bilateral ties. This momentum continued with King Saud’s go to to India in November of the identical 12 months, adopted by an official go to by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to Saudi Arabia within the following 12 months. One other important go to was that of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to Saudi Arabia in 1982, main as much as the historic go to of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to India in 2006, which resulted within the signing of the “Delhi Declaration,” giving contemporary impetus to bilateral relations.
Since then, India and Saudi Arabia have engaged in a number of political dialogues, together with the “Riyadh Declaration” signed in 2010 in the course of the go to of then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Saudi Arabia. This go to marked the primary official go to by an Indian Prime Minister to Saudi Arabia in 28 years and included cooperation agreements throughout numerous domains, together with counter-terrorism, info sharing, and enhancing financial, commerce, and technological collaboration. Prime Minister Narendra Modi additionally visited Saudi Arabia in April 2016, additional solidifying this rising partnership.
Observers from either side anticipate that bilateral relations will proceed to evolve, not solely in financial elements but additionally in political, safety, and navy cooperation. This expectation is grounded in a number of components, together with the shared historical past of relations spanning many years, the financial development witnessed by each nations, their collaboration inside the G20 and different worldwide boards, and their joint efforts inside the Saudi-Indian Strategic Partnership Council, which addresses numerous political, safety, financial, and trade-related issues.