The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia and Invest India signed a bilateral agreement to increase mutual investment projects and develop a sanctum of investors and traders to boost trade
Saudi Arabia and India have signed a bilateral agreement to cultivate an investment atmosphere between the two nations. They have highlighted and spoken highly of their expanding bilateral trade that has crossed $52 billion in 2022-23, registering a growth of 23%. A bilateral agreement to boost investment seemed fair when India is the second-largest trade partner of Saudi Arabia while Saudi Arabia is the fourth-largest trading partner of India.
The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia and Invest India signed a bilateral agreement to increase mutual investment projects and develop a sanctum of investors and traders to boost trade. A deputy minister disclosed that both nations have signed over 50 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) covering both the private and the public sectors.
Al-Badr added that Saudi Arabia is a long-term global powerhouse in terms of oil, but recently, they have transformed themselves into much more under the dynamic framework of Saudi Vision 2030. He emphasised the prowess of Saudi companies that have significant financial might together with capacities, knowledge, and experience.
The numerous MoUs signed included-
- An energy agreement between the Ministry of New and Renewables Energy of India and the Ministry of Energy of Saudi Arabia
- An agreement between the Ministry of Communication and IT of Saudi Arabia and MEITY of India for the Digitisation and Electronics manufacturing industry
- A cooperation pact of cooperation in the Technical Field and establishment of the Saudi and Medium Enterprises Bank between SIDBI and SME Bank of Saudi Arabia
- A pact for seawater desalination between the National Institute of Technology of India and Saline Water Conversion Corporation of Saudi Arabia
- A pact for the archival cooperation between the National Archives of India and the King Abdulaziz Foundation of Saudi Arabia
- An MoU between the Saudi Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority and the CVC of India
- An MoU between the EXIM Bank of India and the Saudi EXIM Bank
Both sides also appreciated each other’s efforts for humanitarian causes in Yemen and wished to dissolve the Yemen crisis through diplomatic engagements. The two sides also highlighted the importance of establishing a government in Afghanistan for political stability and national security.
Free Trade Agreement
Saudi Arabia and India have agreed to step up their negotiations for the India-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will foster the economic cooperation of both nations. The GCC is India’s largest trading partner bloc, with bilateral trade of more than $150 billion in 2021-22 and exports and imports of over $44 billion and 110 billion, respectively.
India and GCC signed the Framework Agreement for Economic Cooperation back in August 2004. The Agreement laid the foundation for the liberalisation of trade rules to enhance economic activity and eventually move towards discussions for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Ausaf Sayeed, Secretary Consular for the Passport and Visa Division (CPV) and Overseas Indian Affairs (OIA), said that both the countries have agreed to push forward the India-GCC FTA negotiations, which will be a catalyst for boosting economic cooperation and embolden the cooperation in the FinTech space and also set tables for the discussions of trade in domestic currencies.
Opening of Saudi Sovereign Fund Office in India
The Saudi Ministry of Investment made a big announcement that they would open an office for the Saudi Sovereign Fund in India. This announcement was made after a meeting between Piyush Goyal, India’s Commerce Minister, and Khalid Al Falih, Saudi Arabia’s Investment Minister.
Goyal said that officials from Gift City, FICCI, Invest India, and the Ministry of Commerce will be sent to Saudi Arabia. They will facilitate the opening of an Investment and trade promotion office in Riyadh. Al Falih said that their officials will visit the GIFT City to look for opening an office for the sovereign wealth fund in Mumbai, Delhi, or the Gift City.