New Delhi, Feb. 27 ANI | 6 months ago

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday in order to bolster business and bilateral defence ties.


He is expected to sign an agreement on defence and enhance cooperation in hydrocarbons and security.

Saudi Crown Prince, who is also deputy prime minister and defence minister of the Kingdom of the Saudi Arabia, is on a three-day official visit to India from February 26 to February 28 to boost bilateral ties.

He is accompanied by a high-level delegation including cabinet ministers, senior officials and captains of industry.

Saudi Arabia's Minister of National Economy and Planning, Muhammad Sulaiman Al-Jasser and Minister of Commerce and Industry, Tawfiq Al-Rabiah attended the India-Saudi Arabia Business Forum in New Delhi to boost investment opportunities.

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Commerce and Industry, Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said that import of crude oil by India, forms a major component of bilateral trade with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

"Trade is very important component of our relations. Saudi Arabia is the fourth largest trading partner for India. The value of the two way trade between the two countries in 2012/13 exceeded 43,000 billion dollars. The import of crude oil by India forms a major component of bilateral trade with Saudi Arabia, being India's largest supplier of crude oil accounting for almost one-fifth of its needs. During the current year, Saudi Arabia is the sixth largest market in the world for Indian products and is a destination for almost five percent for India's global exports," he said.

The leaders also said that Saudi Arabia sees India as an attractive investment hub for its business interests.

Tawfiq Al-Rabiah also urged Indian authorities to mull over the issue of taxation of capital gains.

"The issue of taxation of capital gains continues to be a major impediment in promoting Saudi investments in India, and I call on the Indian authorities to explore relaxation of this issue," he also said.

The two countries are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding on defence for greater exchange of information and training, enhancing cooperation in areas ranging from hydrocarbons to security. The two nations are also eager to work together in curbing money laundering and drug trafficking.

(Posted on 28-02-2014)