India and Saudi Arabia on Monday praised the bilateral burgeoning trade ties and noted that it has increased to more than $52 billion in 2022-23, marking a growth of more than 23 per cent.
Both sides also noted that India is the second largest trade partner of Saudi Arabia, while Saudi Arabia is the fourth largest trade partner of India and thus agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the area of trade remedies.
A joint statement issued during the state visit of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to India on September 11, said that while praising the growth achieved in trade between the two friendly countries, both sides stressed the importance of continuing joint work to enhance and diversify bilateral trade.
Both sides also supported the early India-GCC free trade agreement negotiation commencement, the statement added.
It said that the India and Saudi Arabia agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in the area of payment systems including the acceptance of RuPAY card in Saudi Arabia for the benefit of Indian community in general and more particularly the Hajj/Umrah pilgrims. They also agreed to further discuss fintech cooperation.
It said that the two sides highlighted the importance of energy cooperation as an important pillar of the strategic partnership between the two countries, and stressed the importance of supporting the stability of the world’s oil markets by encouraging dialogue and cooperation between producing and consuming countries, and ensuring the security of energy supply sources in the world markets.
It said that the Saudi side affirmed the Kingdom’s commitment to be a reliable partner and exporter of crude oil supplies to India.
The two sides look forward to boost joint cooperation in the fields of electricity and grid interconnection between the two countries, in addition to cooperating in the field of hydrogen and its derivatives.
“They agreed to develop joint projects to transform oil into petrochemicals in the two countries, and providing the necessary support, requirements and enablers to accelerate the project of West Coast Refinery. The two sides agreed to explore investment opportunities in the field of fertilisers and intermediate, transformative and specialised petrochemicals in both countries,” the statement said.
It said that the two sides agreed to explore cooperation in fields of promoting the utilisation of sustainable advanced hydrocarbon materials, energy efficiency and rationalisation of its consumption in the sectors of buildings, industry and transportation, and raising awareness of its importance.
The Saudi side expressed gratitude for India’s support for invitation extended to Saudi Arabia to join BRICS.
It said that several MoUs were signed and exchanged, which included a pact
in the field of energy between Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of India and Ministry of Energy of Saudi Arabia.
An agreement between Ministry of Communication and IT of Saudi Arabia and MEITY of India in the field of Digitisation and Electronic manufacturing was also signed.
An MOU between CVC of India and Saudi Oversight and Anti Corruption Authority was inked.
Another pact between National Archives of India and King Abdulaziz Foundation of Saudi Arabia in the area of archival cooperation too was signed.
A framework of cooperation on enhancing bilateral investment between Invest India and Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia was signed.
An MoU between Saudi EXIM Bank and EXIM Bank of India was also inked.
Also a pact for cooperation in the Technical Field & Establishment of the Small and Medium Enterprises Bank between SIDBI and SME Bank of Saudi Arabia was also signed.
Another pact on seawater desalination between National Institute of Technology of India. And Saline Water Conversion Corporation of Saudi Arabia was also signed.
The two sides affirmed their full support for the international and regional efforts aimed. At reaching a comprehensive political solution to the crisis in Yemen.
The Indian side appreciated Saudi Arabia’s many initiatives aimed at encouraging dialogue. Between the Yemeni parties, and its role in providing and facilitating access of humanitarian aid to all regions of Yemen.
The Saudi side also appreciated the Indian effort in providing humanitarian aid to Yemen.
The two sides stressed the importance of supporting the Presidential Leadership Council in the Republic of Yemen.
The two sides also appreciated the international efforts to reinforce commitment. To the armistice, and stressed the importance of the positive engagements. By all Yemeni parties with international efforts aimed at ending. The Yemeni crisis and dealing positively with peace initiatives and efforts.
They expressed their hope for achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace. In the Middle East based on the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant UN resolutions, to guarantee. The legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
The two sides stressed the importance of achieving security and stability in Afghanistan and forming. An inclusive government that represents all spectrums of the Afghan people, and. Not allowing Afghanistan to be used as a platform or safe haven for terrorist and extremist groups.
They also emphasised the importance of a concerted international efforts to combat drug trafficking. And provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, and the necessity. Of its continuation, and facilitating humanitarian aid access to the Afghan people.
The two sides praised the cooperation achieved in security fields, and affirmed their desire. To open new horizons to enhance this cooperation in order to achieve security and stability for the two friendly countries.
They also emphasised the importance of furthering cooperation between both sides in the areas. Of cyber security, maritime security, combating transnational crime, narcotics and drug trafficking.
The two sides agreed on the importance of cooperation to promote ways to ensure the security. And safety of waterways and freedom of navigation in line. With the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The two sides also stressed the importance of strengthening security cooperation in the field of combating terrorism and its financing.
Both sides emphasised that terrorism, in all its forms, remains one of the gravest threats to humanity. They agreed that there cannot be any justification for any act of terror for any reason whatsoever.
They rejected any attempt to link terrorism to any particular race, religion or culture.
Both sides called on all states to reject the use of terrorism against other countries, dismantle. Terrorism infrastructure where it exists and bring perpetrators of terrorism to justice swiftly.
They also stressed the need to prevent access to weapons including missiles and. Drones to commit terrorist acts against other countries.