Need to diversify India’s export to Saudi Arabia: Anand Sharma to Saudi Arabia’s Commerce Minister

27. Feb 2014

India and Saudi Arabia today agreed to work towards deeper economic engagement including through more investments, joint ventures and technology transfers. In a meeting between Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Anand Sharma and Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al Rabiah, Minister of Commerce and Industry of Saudi Arabia, here today, both the Ministers stressed on the need to transform the buyer-seller relationship, into one of deeper energy partnership with investments in petro-chemical complexes, modernization of refineries, and joint ventures.

Both the Ministers pointed out the need to ink a free trade agreement between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and India for boosting trade. The GCC countries - Oman, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - and India have identified sectors like petroleum and oil, gas and fertilizers and information technology among other to be given focus.

The Indian Minister highlighted the need to diversify India’s export to Saudi Arabia mentioned the list of items of potential export for India i.e. pharmaceuticals, automobiles, textiles, sugar and wheat etc. The Saudi side, on the other hand, highlighted the need for logistics and transportation under the services sector on their part.

The Saudi side raised the issue of anti-dumping duty imposed on various items of their industry is detrimental for the trade relation between the two countries. The Indian side explained that the anti-dumping duties in India are imposed after due diligence and is a quasi judicial exercise. Shri Sharma said that India had withdrawn anti-dumping duties from two items i.e. Polypropelene and Pentaerythritol.

Shri Sharma and Dr. Al Rabiah also discussed about the priority sectors which ought to be put under focus for the forthcoming India Show in Riyadh. Shri Sharma also invited Saudi investors to actively participate in the construction projects for highways, ports, airports, metros, supply chains & warehousing and power plants which are being regularly launched in India.

The bilateral trade between India and Saudi Arabia rose from USD 42.048 billion in 2012 to USD 48.172 billion in 2013.

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