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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 13 September, 2022

  • 9 Min Read

Indo-Saudi Strategic Partnership   

Indo-Saudi Strategic Partnership

The Indian Minister for External Affairs ends his first official trip to Saudi Arabia.

Image Source - Financial Express

He reviewed all facets of bilateral ties between Saudi Arabia and India during the visit and spoke about both local and global problems.

Key Discussion Points

Collaboration:

  • The potential for shared progress, prosperity, stability, security, and development between India and Saudi Arabia exists.

COVID:

  • By providing oxygen supplies, Saudi Arabia was immensely helpful during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Strategic Partnership Council between Saudi Arabia and India
  • The Committee on Political, Security, Social, and Cultural Cooperation (PSSC) had its inaugural ministerial meeting.
  • After the UK, France, and China, India is the fourth nation with whom Saudi Arabia has established such a strategic alliance.
  • It will open up new channels for collaboration in crucial fields like defence, counterterrorism, energy security, and renewable energy.

International Forums:

  • Both have committed to collaborating closely within the G20 and other international organizations.

GCC: Gulf Cooperation Council

  • The six-nation regional bloc and India inked an MOU on the methodology of consultations.
  • India needs investment from the Gulf nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, to fuel its economic revival.
  • Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates make up the GCC, a regional, intergovernmental, political, and economic union.

India-Saudi Arabia Relations

Cultural linkages

  • As a result of their long-standing economic and sociocultural links, India and Saudi Arabia have amicable and cordial relations.

Trade:

  • India's fourth-largest trading partner is Saudi Arabia.
  • Saudi Arabia supplies more than 18% of India's imports of crude oil.
  • The value of bilateral trade in FY22 was $29.28 billion. The value of India's exports to Saudi Arabia was $6.63 billion while its imports from Saudi Arabia totalled $22.65 billion.

Strategic Associate:

  • Since the Riyadh Declaration was ratified in 2010, Saudi Arabia has been one of India's most important strategic allies.

Brent crude:

  • It presently supplies around 18% of India's energy needs, making it the second-largest crude oil supplier to the country. It plays a significant part in India's Strategic Petroleum Reserves as well (SPRs).
  • Iraq is India's primary crude oil source.

LPG specifications:

  • Saudi Arabia satisfies 32% of India's needs for LPG.

Culture and pilgrimage:

  • Another significant aspect of bilateral relations is the Haj pilgrimage.
  • The third millennium BC marks the beginning of trade and cultural ties between ancient India and Arabia.

Military drill

  • The first bilateral naval drill between Saudi Arabia and India is called AL- Mohed AL- Hindi.

Diaspora of Indians:

  • The largest international community in Saudi Arabia is the 2.2 million-strong Indian population.

Demand for Collaboration

Peace Process in Afghanistan

  • Being a significant regional player, Saudi Arabia's opinion on the happenings in Kabul acquires importance given that other Gulf nations, notably Iran and Qatar, were contributing to the development of Afghanistan even before the Taliban took control of the country.

Financial Reform:

  • Saudi Arabia is now implementing its Vision 2030 economic reform projects, for which it needs both economic and technological support from India.
  • While India is a crucial partner in Saudi Arabia's food security, Saudi Arabia plays a significant role in India's energy security.
  • Saudi Arabia was India's second-largest source of hydrocarbon imports in 2021–2022 after Russia.

Investments:

  • Around $100 billion in Saudi investment is planned for a variety of industries, including mining, agriculture, petrochemicals, infrastructure, and energy.
  • India has one of the world's economies that is expanding the quickest. With a nominal GDP of US$3.5 trillion in 2022, the scale of its economy places it as the fifth largest in the world. India is a desirable investment destination for the rest of the world because it is one of the world's largest users of hydrocarbons.

Defeating Militias

  • Saudi Arabia doesn't seem to have much expertise in fending off threats from organizations like Houthi militias. India's experience in combating such threats might be transferred to the Saudi side in this area by strengthening collaborative military training programs.

Challenges

  • Middle Eastern politics are intricate and multifaceted, necessitating a coordinated and group effort.
  • The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Turkey could cause issues for India.
  • Saudi Arabia-Iran Rivalry: India maintains close links with both Saudi Arabia and Iran.
  • India has yet to figure out how to balance its ties with Saudi Arabia and the United States on the one hand, and Iran on the other.

Way ahead

  • The pace of India and Saudi Arabia's defence cooperation has greatly increased.
  • In the midst of the quickly shifting dynamics in the Gulf region, the defence connections between the two nations are strengthening.
  • Security in the Indian Ocean region will improve as a result of bilateral collaboration.

Also, Read - Importance of Regional Language

Source: The financial express


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