Saudi Arabia, India Study Trade Opportunities

Saudi Arabia King Salman (R) walks with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an official welcoming ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (File/Reuters)

Saudi Arabia and India discussed cooperation opportunities and boosting investment and commercial ties; at a time when business and economic activities were frozen in many countries due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

For its part, New Delhi revealed that it looks forward to reinforcing cooperation; with Riyadh to support SMEs and launch new partnerships. This came during a webinar on the “Impact of COVID-19 on the Bilateral Economic Relations of India and Saudi Arabia which the Indian Embassy held in Riyadh on Wednesday.

Representatives from the Saudi commercial authorities attended the event; such as the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co. (SALIC), SABIC, and chambers of commerce and business organizations from both nations.

India’s Ambassador to the Kingdom Dr. Ausaf Sayeed highlighted the impact of the virus on economies and trade relations between both countries. Sayeed also talked about the measures taken to support the Indian and Saudi industries, business houses; as well as bilateral economic relations against the backdrop of COVID-19.

The chairman of the Saudi-Indian Business Council, Kamel Al-Munajjed, underpinned the importance of exchanging expertise and highlighted that the business sector in both countries represents an opportunity for cooperation and boosting investment and commercial trade.

Munajjed announced that he expects the coming year to witness increased participation of the private sector of Saudi and Indian firms in various fields; including health, industry, commerce, and information technology.

Cooperation between both countries saw huge growth before the virus outbreak, he said; noting that trade between Riyadh and New Delhi exceeded $40bn in 2017.