New Delhi: Saudi Arabia has stepped up its economic engagement with India with yet another business delegation of nearly 50 members set to visit the country from December 13-18 to expore opportunities in diverse areas from retail to realty, officials here said.
Led by Kamel S. Almunajjed, co-chair of the Saudi-India Business Council, the delegation has its engagements lined both here and Bengaluru, including a seminar hosted in the national capital by a top industry chamber to be addressed by Anil Wadhwa, secretary (East) in India's foreign office.
Also scheduled to address the event, being organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, is Saudi Ambassador to India Saud Mohammed Alsati.
Earlier in the week, the kingdom's Deputy Minister of Industries Saleh S. Al-Solani led a large team of Saudi firms here and the enthusiasm was evident with as many as 140 Indian counterparts turning up to exlore business options.
And prior to that, the Saudi-Indian Business Network, along with the Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia, had organised a B2B meeting for 13 participating company delegates with the Saudi businessmen from the health, cosmetics and chemicals sectors.
In the latest delegation that arrives on Sunday, a wide range of industries are represented, with Al-Munajjed himself the chairman of Urjuan Real Estate Developers and Shuaa Capital, while the deputy head of the delegation, Abdulaziz Abdulahadi Al Qahtani heads a large diversified group.
The other members represent industries ranging from cold storage, consultancy, trading, textiles, realty, food processing, telecom, infrastructure, structurals, engineering, footwear, chemicals and fertilisers, energy, retail, hospitality, healthcare, public transport and metals.
According to the Saudi side, Riyadh is keen that its bilateral trade and investment relations with India grows beyond oil and energy, notably in areas such as food, chemicals and textiles.
Saudi Arabia is India's fourth largest trade partner and a major source for its energy security, accounting for some 20 percent of its crude oil needs. But imports from Saudi Arabia fell 22.42 percent to $28.2 billion last year, due to a successive fall in global oil prices.
On the other hand, India is the fifth largest market for Saudi exports, accounting for 8.87 percent of the country's shipments to the kingdom - the quantum of which also declined 8.61 percent last year to $11.2 billion.