A High-level delegation, led by NITI Aayog CEO, Amitabh Kant visited Saudi Arabia from 16th to 17th February 2019. The delegation comprising of leading Indian CEOs took part in extensive discussions with the Saudi Centre for International Strategic Partnerships (SCISP) and with Ministerial level representations from 12 Saudi Ministries in Riyadh.
India’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ahmad Javed accompanied the team of Indian CEOs along with Yaduvendra Mathur, Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog; Satyajeet Rajan, Director General, Ministry of Tourism; Shiv Das Meena, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs; Pankaj Kumar. Additional Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology; Keshav Chandra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce; Invest India. A large number of Indian CEOs from leading public and private sectors of IT, Construction, Energy, Mobile & Communications, Hospitality, Sovereign Funds etc took part in deliberations. Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan, Deputy Chief of Mission from the Indian Embassy also attended the meeting.
The Saudi side was represented by Senior Officials from Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Saudi Industrial Development Fund, Ma’aden, SALIC, SPIMACO, Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority, Saudi Export Authority etc.
The NITI Aayog-SCISP workshop led by Amitabh Kant from the Indian side and Dr. Faisal Al Sugair, CEO, SCISP held wide ranging discussions on the possible opportunities of joint cooperation and collaboration across sectors like energy, food processing, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, mining, ICT, tourism, defence etc. NITI Aayog and SCISP agreed to provide continuing momentum to the India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership.
On the sidelines, CEO, NITI Aayog called on the Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammad Al Jada’an discussing ways to strengthen bilateral ties and other issues of mutual concern. Six working groups have identified 40 investment, trade and business opportunities with vast potential for expansion.
The visit assumes significance in the wake of State visit of HRH Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia to India on 19 & 20 February, 2019.
India – Saudi Arabia bilateral trade during April to November 2018 reached USD 23.24 billion, and is poised to reach greater heights post the visit of the Crown Prince between 19-20th February, which follows the highly successful visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in April 2016 and recent bilateral meeting between Prime Minister and Crown Prince on the side-lines of G20 Summit in Argentina.