UPSC India-Saudi Arabia Relations

India-Saudi Arabia Relations

Saudi Arabia promises India to help in meeting its growing energy demands.

About:
• The leaders of the India-Saudi Arabia recently met on the side-lines of G20 summit.

Highlights of the Meeting:
Energy: In this sector, the kingdom aims to supply India with oil and petroleum products, as well as Saudi Aramco’s investment in refineries in India.

  • India has a refining capacity of 232.066 million tonnes, which exceeded the demand of 194.2 million tonnes in 2016-17 fiscal. According to the International Energy Agency, this demand is expected to reach 458 million tonnes by 2040. Hence, Saudi investment remains critical.
  • Saudi Arabia accounts for almost one-fifth of India’s oil needs.

Investment: They aimed at promoting investment in the infrastructure sector through the Public Investment Fund,
Agricultural Field: Saudi Arabia aims to replace agricultural imports from other countries to the kingdom with Indian agricultural imports.
Solar cooperation: Investment in solar energy through the Soft Bank Vision Fund and through the Saudi companies building solar energy projects in India.
Other Sectoral Cooperation: Both the countries also discussed cooperation in other fields such as military and strategic commodities such as Saudi fertilizers.

Annual Haj 2019 Agreement:
• Recently, the bilateral Annual Haj 2019 Agreement has been signed between India and Saudi Arabia at Jeddah.
• More than 2100 women have applied to go to Haj 2019 without “Mehram” (male companion).