India-Saudi trade rises over 6-fold to $21 bn in 4 years

Nov 27, 2010 12:00 AM


Bilateral trade between India and Saudi Arabia reached $21.0 bn in 2009-10, an over 6-fold increase from the $3.4 bn recorded in 2005-06. India's exports to Saudi Arabia increased to $3.91 bn in 2009-10 from $1.81 bn in 2005-06 while its imports from Saudi Arabia increased substantially to $17.1 bn in 2009-10 from $1.63 bn in 2005-06, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said.

The increase in India's trade deficit with the Gulf country has been due mainly to an increase in the prices of crude oil and petroleum products. India imports mainly petroleum products, organic chemicals, artificial resins, plastic material etc from Saudi Arabia.

India's exports to Saudi Arabia include petroleum products, basmati rice, non-ferrous metals, machinery and instruments, dyes / intermediaries, coal tar, chemicals, etc. India and Saudi Arabia now propose to focus on bilateral investments and joint ventures to enhance trade as well as services.

They will also exchange business information through business delegations for sensitising businessmen of both countries on future prospects. The decision was arrived at a meeting Sharma had with his Saudi counterpart Abdullah bin Ahmed Zainal Alireza.

India is keen to set up joint ventures for gas-based fertiliser plant in Saudi Arabia. Indian companies have evinced keen interest in setting up such projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The two countries should use their economic ties to develop a solid foundation for Indo-Saudi strategic partnership. The minister also called for developing bilateral trade by further increasing volume of trade in traditional items and diversifying the trade basket.

The foreign direct investment (FDI) in India flowing from Saudi Arabia during April 2000 to August 2010 stood at $31.59 mm. The main sectors that attracted Saudi investment are electrical equipments, food processing industries, automobile industry, computer software and hardware and telecommunications.

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