Saudi Arabia is the 4th largest trading partner of India and will invest heavily in Food, Pharmaceuticals and IT Sectors in India: H.E. Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Ambassador, Embassy of India, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

No.PR-109 June 2, 2020 New Delhi Saudi Arabia is the 4th largest trading partner of India and will invest heavily in Food, Pharmaceuticals and IT Sectors in India: H.E. Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Ambassador, Embassy of India, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia New Delhi, 1st June 2020: The world is witnessing the carnage of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and it is commendable how Saudi Arabia has handled the pandemic situation. Saudi Arabia has the highest number of confirmed cases amongst the Arabian Gulf States has a high recovery rate and very few fatalities. India and Saudi Arabia have been sharing a long-term relationship which has evolved over the years. To understand the current business and trade relations between the two nations and the opportunities post Covid19, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized an interactive webinar on “India - Saudi Arabia Business Promotion, Challenges, and Opportunities - Post Covid19” with H.E. Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Ambassador, Embassy of India, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Highlighting that India is an important partner for Saudi Arabia and the year 2019 was a successful one for both the countries in terms of political as well as business relationship, H.E. Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Ambassador, Embassy of India, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia mentioned about the Strategic Bilateral Cooperation which is the highest mechanism from both Indian and Saudi Arabian side. He informed that the relationship strengthened in the recent years with the visit of the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia Crown Prince visit to India. Discussions have been going on to bring together the entire gamut of bilateral trade. He further informed about the mandate that there will be a summit between the two countries every two years to discuss partnership and industrial engagements on two verticals, firstly political and cultural and secondly on economic front. The agreements signed by both the sides has many business progressing well specially in the renewable energy sector. India- Saudi Arabia bilateral trade increased in 2019-20 with exports from India increasing by 12%. India currently exports US$ 600 million to Saudi Arabia which is the 4th largest trading partner of India. India imports over 80% of oil from Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia looks at India for Food Security and hence, there is a complementing relationship between the two countries. H.E. Dr. Ausaf Sayeed informed about the Saudi-India Business Council and Saudi-India Business Network forums that are in place and are being worked upon for ease of doing business between the two countries. He spoke in details about the potential sectors for India to do business with Saudi Arabia and also invited Indian businessmen to get in touch with the Indian Embassy in Riyadh for all the queries and assistance needed. He further informed that Covid19 has majorly impacted the tourism and hospitality sectors, but currently Saudi Arabia has opened the tourism sector and allows visa on arrival for 60 countries. On the business front he informed that Saudi Arabia is interested in sectors like pharmaceuticals as it is big consumer of pharmaceutical and the entry for Indian companies may be difficult because of stringent rules and regulatory requirements for Pharmaceutical companies. There are also challenges about the ownership as one cannot take more than 51% stake in any venture there, he said. But Saudis are very keen in the setting up manufacturing industries and other joint ventures as well, therefore, the best idea would be to set up manufacturing units and come in a big way. Mr. Pradeep Multani, Vice President, PHDCCI in his opening address gave an insight on the relations between the two countries. He highlighted about the proposed Strategic Partnership Council mechanism as India is keen on diversification of bilateral trade ties beyond the conventional oil and explore opportunities in newer areas such as Housing, Tourism, Renewable Energy, Health & Pharmaceuticals, Food Processing & Fertilizers, Engineering Goods, Mining etc. Mr. Nasir Zaidi, Chair, International Affairs Committee for Gulf, PHDCCI shared the overview and scope about India- Saudi Arabia Bilateral Trade particularly in Education and Tourism sector. The Session also witnessed the presence and inputs from the other Chairs and Co-Chairs of International Affairs Committee of PHDCCI. Mr. Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General, PHDCCI while giving the formal Vote of Thanks mentioned that the participants were greatly enthused to learn about the glorious economic and socio-cultural bond shared by the two great nations and would greatly benefit from the views on the prospects of business and economic bilateral relations present between India and Saudi Arabia. The session was moderated by Mr. Naveen Seth, Principal Director, PHDCCI and witnessed a participation of more than 140 industry representatives from both the side. Pacific Travels and S K Kalra and Associates were the Strategic Partners of the webinar. Ends. Media Division PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry