India, Saudi Arabia aim to double bilateral trade to $100 billion, says Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal


The relationship between India and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been progressing steadily reflecting centuries old economic and socio-cultural ties between the two rising economies. Saudi Arabia is a critical partner for India, and New Delhi is making every effort to engage with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to enhance the strategic partnership.

Trade between the countries reached an all-time high of $52.75 billion in the financial year 2022-23 as against $42.86 billion in 2021-22. India received $3.22 billion in foreign direct investment from Saudi Arabia between April 2000 and June 2023. These investments were made by the government-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF) in Indian companies that are beyond their start-up stage. India’s exports to Saudi Arabia increased to $10.72 billion in 2022-23 from $8.8 billion in 2021-22. Imports, on the other hand, rose to $42 billion in 2022-23 from $34.1 billion in 2021-22, mainly on the back of oil shipments.
In September, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and KSA Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud co-chaired the first summit-level meeting of the India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council (SPC) established in 2019. The meeting focused on critical areas such as energy security, trade and investment, defense and security, healthcare and food security.
It is in this context that the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal participated at the 7th Edition of Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 24 to 25. Goyal met Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Investment Khalid A Al-Falih, and discussed ways to boost strategic partnership and joint cooperation between the two countries.
“Met H.E. @Khalid_AlFalih, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Investment. Discussed expanding investment across diverse sectors to foster economic growth & further enhance the strategic partnership between India & Saudi Arabia,” Goyal said in a post on X.

Goyal added that New Delhi and Riyadh could aim at doubling bilateral trade to $100 billion in the coming years from the present $52 billion. The Saudi minister in turn offered to set up a digital and physical space in Riyadh for Indian startups to access markets, partners and funding, and to consider opening a sovereign wealth fund office in India. The Indian Commerce and Industry Minister suggested that India would set up an office partnered by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry and National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency in Riyadh.

While addressing a gathering of Saudi business personalities and investors in Saudi Arabia on October 23, India’s Union Minister R K Singh urged them to invest in India’s domestic new and renewable energy industry. All major business houses in Saudi Arabia, including ACWA Power, Alfanar, AWJ Energy, Almajdouie, Abdulkarim, Aljomaih Energy and Water Company, Kanoo Industrial & Energy, L&T, Nesma Renewable Energy, Petromin, NextGen Infra participated in the meet. Investment opportunities in India in areas like RE generation projects, energy storage, electricity transmission and green hydrogen were highlighted.

Earlier, on October 22, India and Saudi Arabia inked an initial pact to collaborate in the field of electrical interconnections, green/clean hydrogen and supply chains. The MoU will establish a general framework for cooperation between the two countries in the field of electrical interconnection and exchange of electricity during peak times and emergencies.


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