The investment plans in India are on track, noting that the Indian economy has the strength to recover from the adverse impact of the coronavirus crisis
In February last year, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced that Saudi Arabia would invest over USD 100 billion in India in petrochemicals, refining, infrastructure, mining and manufacturing, agriculture and several other sectors.
"Our plans to invest in India are on track and we are in discussion to prioritise investment opportunities in several sectors in both countries," Saudi Ambassador Dr Saud bin Mohammed Al Sati told PTI in an interview. Stating that Saudi Arabia values India as a strategic partner and a close friend, Al Sati identified ongoing cooperation in areas of training, knowledge sharing and combating terrorism as key elements of the partnership in defence and security sphere.
Al Sati complimented India's measures to revive its economy in view of the impact of the pandemic and said the economic recovery of both countries will help elevate other economies in the region as well. "The economic relief package provided by India for its most prominent sectors is commendable. As the fifth-largest global economy and the largest economy in South Asia, the Indian economy has the impetus to recover from the impact of the ongoing pandemic," he said.
Without commenting on Army Chief Gen MM Naravane's visit to Saudi Arabia last week, the Ambassador said the setting up of the Strategic Partnership Council by the two countries opened new avenues of cooperation in several sectors including defence and security and counter-terrorism. "The Strategic (Partnership) Council set up by the two countries in 2019 has opened new avenues on partnership in strategic areas like defence, security counter-terrorism, energy security and renewable energy," he said.
Gen Naravane on Sunday held extensive talks with Commander of Royal Saudi land forces Gen Fahd Bin Abdullah Mohammed Al-Mutir as he began a two-day rare visit to the Gulf country to lay the ground for deeper military ties. In the first-ever visit by a head of the Indian Army, Gen Naravane travelled to Saudi capital city Riyadh last week where he held talks with top military brass.
The two sides set up the Strategic Partnership Council during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Riyadh in October last year. The council is mandated to monitor the progress of strategic relationships in a whole range of key areas. "The current decade has witnessed a remarkable stride in the relations between Saudi Arabia and India. What was once viewed as ties between two friendly countries is now a strong strategic partnership between two formidable economies," Al Sati said."From energy cooperation, security and defense, burgeoning trade relations to health cooperation, the nature of this relationship has diversified immensely allowing for expanded growth. The leadership on both sides have heralded this transformation for Saudi - India ties," he said.