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India-Saudi Arabia: Key Strategic Agreements.



  Sep 16, 2023

India and Saudi Arabia Elevate Ties with Eight Significant Agreements


Overview

In a monumental move, India and Saudi Arabia have taken their bilateral relations to a new height with the signing of eight pivotal agreements during the inaugural leaders' summit of the India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council.

The summit, held at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, saw the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
 

Leaders Exchange Agreements

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman exchanging agreements in New Delhi.
 

Key Highlights

Comprehensive Energy Partnership: This cornerstone agreement aims to foster collaboration in various energy sectors including renewable energy, energy efficiency, hydrogen electricity, and investments in petroleum reserves.
The partnership was endorsed by Saudi Minister of Energy Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud and India’s Minister of New and Renewable Energy R.K. Singh.
 
Digitalisation and Electronic Manufacturing: A step towards technological advancement through mutual cooperation in digitalization and electronic manufacturing sectors.
 
Desalination: Collaborative efforts to explore and develop technologies for water desalination.
 
Anti-Corruption Cooperation: A cooperative agreement between India’s Central Vigilance Commission and Saudi Arabia’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority to strengthen the fight against corruption.
 
EXIM Banks Cooperation: A financial collaboration involving the export-import banks of both nations to foster economic ties.
 
Local Currency Trade: Discussions were held to facilitate trade in local currencies, a move expected to strengthen economic ties further.
 
Optical Fibre Networks: The council also deliberated on potential collaborations in the development of optical fibre networks.
 

Strategic Developments

India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor: Announced during the recent G20 Summit in Delhi, this economic corridor involving multiple countries is perceived as a counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
However, it emphasizes partnership among like-minded nations rather than isolating any specific country.
 
West Coast Refinery Project in Maharashtra: The leaders agreed to establish a joint task force to channelize investments worth $100 billion, with half of this amount allocated for the refinery project in Maharashtra, which was initially announced in December 2015.
A monitoring committee will be set up to oversee the progress of refinery projects.
 

Looking Ahead

Next Meeting: The subsequent meeting of the Strategic Partnership Council is scheduled to take place in Riyadh next year.
 
Focus on Expedited Progress: The summit underscored a forward-looking approach with a focus on expediting projects and fostering deeper cooperation in various sectors.
 

Expert Commentary

Ausaf Sayeed, secretary (CPV & OIA) at the Ministry of External Affairs, highlighted the commitment of both nations to elevate the energy partnership to a comprehensive level encompassing strategic petroleum reserves and downstream petrochemicals.

Background

The India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council, established in 2019, aims to enhance cooperation in critical areas, building on the pact signed during Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia in October 2019.

EIn Conclusion

The leaders' summit marks a significant milestone in India-Saudi Arabia relations, setting the stage for a future of enhanced cooperation and mutual growth.

The agreements signed reflect a shared vision of progress, encompassing various sectors crucial for economic and strategic development.


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