Shri Anand Sharma, the Union Minister for Commerce, Industry & Textile met with Dr. Tawfiq Bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Saudi Arabia, here today. During the meeting Shri Sharma stated that, “The Economic ties between India and Saudi Arabia would constitute a very solid foundation for the development of Strategic Partnership. While the trade ties at present are already quite substantial, there exists immense potential for taking the bilateral trade relations to the higher level.”
The Indian Minister in the bilateral talks informed that,” The total trade between India and Saudi Arabia has increased from US $ 15,946.10 million in 2006-07 to US $ 25,612.46 million in 2010-11. The exports to Saudi Arabia have increased from US $ 2590.77 million in 2006-07 to US$ 5,227.19 million in 2010-11. The principle items of export to Saudi Arabia are Petroleum (Crude & Products); Rice Basmati; Dyes/Intmdtes & Coal Tar Cheml.; Machinery and Instruments; Prmry & Semi-Fnshd Iron & Stl. Similarly, the imports from Saudi Arabia has increased substantially from US$ 13,355.33 million in 2006-07 to US$ 20,385.28 million in 2010-11 and the principle items of imports are Petroleum (Crude & Products), Organic Chemicals, Artificial Resin, plastic, Material etc;; Metaliferrous ores & Metal Scrap and Inorganic Chemicals. India imports almost 23% of its crude oil requirements from Saudi Arabia.
Shri Sharma during the meeting observed that the focus is now to be shifted to investment and joint ventures for enhancing our trade as well as services. Minister also emphasised strategies to be developed for increasing volume of trade in traditional items and diversify the trade basket.
Shri Sharma expressed satisfaction on the fact that both countries have pledged to elevate the current buyer-seller relationship into strategic energy cooperation. India would like to participate in the Petroleum and Gas sectors in Saudi Arabia both upstream and downstream and invites Saudi Arabia to invest in Indian petroleum and gas based mega industrial estates, fertilizers and petrochemical plants, refineries, etc.