New Delhi Confirms Strategic Partnership with Riyadh

Indian Assistant Foreign Minister Muktesh Pardeshi (Asharq Al-Awsat/PHOTO CREDIT:Abdulrahman Al-Qahtani)
Indian Assistant Foreign Minister Muktesh Pardeshi (Asharq Al-Awsat/PHOTO CREDIT:Abdulrahman Al-Qahtani)
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New Delhi Confirms Strategic Partnership with Riyadh

Indian Assistant Foreign Minister Muktesh Pardeshi (Asharq Al-Awsat/PHOTO CREDIT:Abdulrahman Al-Qahtani)
Indian Assistant Foreign Minister Muktesh Pardeshi (Asharq Al-Awsat/PHOTO CREDIT:Abdulrahman Al-Qahtani)

Indian Assistant Foreign Minister Muktesh Pardeshi reiterated India’s strong alliance with Saudi Arabia, highlighting that over 175,000 Indian Hajj pilgrims are visiting the Kingdom this year.
He stressed India’s deployment of 12 warships in the Red Sea to combat piracy and expressed concern over Houthi threats to maritime navigation.
Successful Talks
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Pardeshi revealed that he discussed his Riyadh visit goals and meetings with Saudi officials.
He highlighted talks with the Deputy Hajj Minister, Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat, focusing on logistical arrangements for a smooth Hajj experience for Indian pilgrims.
Pardeshi noted that 175,025 Indian pilgrims will undertake the journey this year. Discussions also covered the welfare and integration of the 2.4 million-strong Indian community in Saudi Arabia.
Strategic Partnerships
In his meetings, Pardeshi discussed with Dr. Saud Al-Sati, Saudi Deputy Minister for Political Affairs, ways to enhance diplomatic ties and cooperation on common interests. They also explored economic collaboration.
With Dr. Raad Al Barakati, President and CEO of the Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnerships, they looked into investment opportunities in infrastructure and technology transfer.
He also talked about energy cooperation with Dr. Nasser Al-Qahtani and Mohammed Ibrahim, Assistant Ministers for Electricity and Petroleum and Gas, respectively.
Additionally, he discussed strengthening Indo-Gulf relations with Dr. Abdulaziz Aluwaisheg, Assistant Secretary-General for Gulf Cooperation Council Affairs, focusing on expanding cooperation in trade, security, and cultural exchange.
Saudi-Indian Ties
Pardeshi noted that since gaining independence, Saudi-Indian relations have grown into a comprehensive partnership covering various areas like culture, defense, trade, and technology.
He mentioned the visits of Indian Prime Ministers to Saudi Arabia in 2016 and 2019, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to India in 2019, which led to the establishment of the Saudi-Indian Strategic Partnership Council.
Pardeshi also highlighted Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to India in 2023 for the G20 Summit, describing it as significant for signing agreements across different sectors.
He emphasized that Saudi Arabia’s national transformation plan, Vision 2030, presents numerous opportunities for expanding cooperation, including in renewable energy, healthcare, tourism, and technology, aligning with India's own initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India.’
Pardeshi added that the unveiling of the India-Middle East-Europe Corridor (IMEEC) project during the Saudi Crown Prince’s visit was a significant moment.
The IMEEC project will open up opportunities in communication, logistics, energy, and data, boosting economic partnerships, explained Pardeshi.
He reiterated India’s commitment to keeping up the momentum and finalizing initial agreements in these areas.
Trade and Economy
The Indian Deputy Foreign Minister stressed that India is Saudi Arabia’s second-largest trading partner, while Saudi Arabia ranks as India’s fourth-largest. He revealed that trade between the two amounted to about $52.75 billion (2022-2023), with Indian exports to Saudi Arabia hitting $11.56 billion between 2023 and 2024.
Pardeshi mentioned that Saudi Arabia is crucial for India’s energy security, being its third-largest crude oil supplier during 2022-2023.
The focus has been on renewable energy, with agreements signed last year covering grid connectivity, joint projects, and clean energy production.
The energy sector has helped diversify trade, with Indian exports doubling over five years, including food, textiles, automotive, and machinery, with joint projects and innovation exchanges.
Investment Relations
Indian companies have invested in various sectors in Saudi Arabia, such as management, construction, telecommunications, IT, finance, and pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile, India has welcomed investments from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and its state-owned and private companies.
India has a thriving startup scene, and they plan to deepen collaboration with Saudi Arabia in this area through a startup bridge, revealed Pardeshi.
The India-Middle East-Europe Corridor agreement enhances communication, transportation, and logistics, changing the game across three continents, he noted.



King Abdulaziz Foundation Organizes ‘Saudi-Chinese Relations’ Seminar in Beijing

The King Abdulaziz Foundation participates in the Beijing International Book Fair 2024. (SPA)
The King Abdulaziz Foundation participates in the Beijing International Book Fair 2024. (SPA)
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King Abdulaziz Foundation Organizes ‘Saudi-Chinese Relations’ Seminar in Beijing

The King Abdulaziz Foundation participates in the Beijing International Book Fair 2024. (SPA)
The King Abdulaziz Foundation participates in the Beijing International Book Fair 2024. (SPA)

The King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah), in cooperation with the Literature, Publishing, and Translation Commission, held in Beijing a scientific seminar on cultural and economic relations between Saudi Arabia and China, the Saudi Press Agency said Sunday.
The seminar, which was part of the Beijing International Book Fair, covered several topics, including maritime trade between the two countries and their cultural and economic impacts, the role of Chinese libraries in caring for Arabic manuscripts and preserving Arab heritage, and Arab heritage in China.
The Kingdom was the guest of honor at the Book Fair that was held between June 19 and 23.
The strategic partnership between the two nations has been boosted in the 21st century by the numerous agreements of cooperation in the fields of energy, trade, and investment.
Both countries took part in activities that promote global trade, including in joint projects that aimed to develop ports, railways, and industrial zones.
Cultural exchanges and academic programs have contributed to increasing the understanding between the two peoples, and the Saudi Vision 2030 has increased the scope of economic cooperation with China in areas like technology, renewable energy, and infrastructure development.
China has established digital and public libraries containing Arabic books and manuscripts. Numerous universities in China teach the Arabic language.