Saudi Arabia pledged to meet India’s crude oil needs: Saudi envoy

NEW DELHI: Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, said on Sunday it was determined to meet India’s needs for petroleum products, a claim that came as a result of the country’s desire to ” relax cuts in global production to curb the surge in oil prices.
In an interview with PTI, Saudi Ambassador Dr Saud bin Mohammed Al Sati also said that Saudi Arabia had made investments worth $ 2.81 billion in India in 2020 and was considering a greater dynamics of bilateral economic relations in areas such as petroleum, renewable energies, IT and man-made. intelligence.
“Saudi Arabia has remained committed to meeting India’s oil and petroleum product needs and our energy cooperation is going very well.” It has been further strengthened during recent and ongoing communications between Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Minister of Energy and his minister counterpart. Dharmendra Pradhan, ”Al Sati said.
His comments came in response to a question about Saudi Arabia’s position on India, urging to ease OPEC and OPEC Plus crude oil production cuts as high oil prices are hurting the consumer-led recovery of several countries like him.
OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) is an influential entity that plays a key role in formulating policies relating to crude production. OPEC Plus includes the OPEC countries, Russia and several other crude oil producers.
Speaking about his country’s Vision 2030, an ambitious program to move the country’s economy away from its dependence on oil profits, Al Sati said he foresees an expansion of economic engagement with India. and other strategic partners.
“The number of Indian companies investing and operating in the kingdom is increasing. In 2020, 44 new licenses were issued for Indian investments.
“Saudi Arabia also recorded the largest increase in FDI to India in 2020 with investments worth $ 2.81 billion,” he said.
“As we prepare to resume normal life and fully open our economy in all sectors, we will build on the progress made so far and there will be greater momentum for our economic cooperation and mutual investments,” especially in the renewable energy sector, IT, and artificial intelligence, ”he said.
The envoy said that Saudi Arabia’s strategic partnership with India spanned various areas, and health cooperation stood out as one of the most important aspects of the relationship.
“Health cooperation will remain an important area of ​​interest in our bilateral cooperation. In the aftermath of the pandemic and its economic, social and health impact, our cooperation has continued to grow,” he said.
Al Sati said Saudi Arabia maintains uninterrupted supply chains of medical goods and products despite the coronavirus pandemic, adding that his country has facilitated the supply of medical oxygen to various entities in India.
“We will continue to extend all possible forms of support to India and its friendly people to overcome the current challenge of COVID-9. I am convinced that India has the determination and the capacity to face the current challenge of COVID-19 and that this crisis will go away shortly, ”he said.
Referring to Vision 2030, Al Sati said Saudi Arabia has diversified its oil economy as part of the program envisioned by its architect, Crown Prince Salman.
“During the Crown Prince’s State Visit to India in 2019, Saudi Arabia agreed to align Vision 2030 and its 13 Vision Achievement Programs with India’s’ Make in India ‘initiatives,’ Start-Up India ‘,’ Smart Cities’ and ‘Digital India’, he said.
In February 2019, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced that Saudi Arabia would invest more than $ 100 billion in India in petrochemicals, refining, infrastructure, mining and manufacturing, agriculture and several other sectors. .
“In our efforts to reform and achieve our strategic goals of Vision 2030, we have created immense opportunities and an enabling business environment for our strategic partners,” he added.
Over the past five years, he said, Saudi Arabia’s non-oil revenues have increased 222%, while the maturity rate of digital government services has increased from 60% to 81.3% and the participation of Saudi women in the labor force increased from 19.4% to 33.2%.
He said the IMF projections painted a positive picture, estimating Saudi Arabia’s real GDP growth at 4.8%, the resumption of real non-oil GDP growth at 3.6% and GDP growth. real oil at 6.8% in 2022.
As part of its commitment to fight climate change, he said, the kingdom has encouraged the concept of circular carbon economy, adopted by the G20, and expanded its solar, hydrogen and energy projects. ammonia.
“Saudi Arabia hopes to get 50 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030. This comes alongside the Saudi Green and Middle East Green initiatives, designed to boost vegetation, reduce carbon emissions and combat pollution and land degradation, ”Al Sati said.
He said the past five years have seen huge changes in Saudi Arabia as the country undergoes historic transformation.
“Various reforms have been introduced in laws, regulations and procedures, in cooperation with more than 50 government entities and in coordination with the private sector,” he said.
“Saudi Arabia has streamlined and automated administrative procedures and data sharing between various entities, allowing investors and entrepreneurs to start their businesses electronically,” he added.

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