We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Bilateral relations have evolved to mutually-beneficial strategic partnership in the following article
Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Ambassador’s Message
ON the joyous occasion of the 71st Republic Day of India, I would like to extend my warm greetings and felicitations to all Indian citizens and Persons of Indian Origin in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Republic Day is of very special significance to every Indian living anywhere in the world. It was on Jan. 26, 1950, the Constitution of India came into effect which declared India as a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic.
The Constitution of India provides basic Fundamental Rights to Indian citizens and assures them of justice, equality, and liberty and endeavors to promote fraternity among them. The Constitution does not discriminate against anyone based on religion, creed, sex or any other ground.
The Republic Day is also the day when India’s first President Dr. Rajendra Prasad was sworn in as the Constitutional head of the country replacing the Governor-General appointed by the British monarchy. It was after two and half years after India gained its Independence on Aug. 15, 1947, that it transitioned into one of the biggest democracies in the world, fulfilling the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and thousands of freedom fighters who had shed their sweat and blood to secure freedom for our country.
Thus, the idea of India as an open, pluralistic democracy that supports a multi-religious, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and secular society came up. Underneath this diversity lies the continuity of Indian civilization and social structure from the earliest times until the present.
The idea of India as an “epitome of the world” has been fascinating people from ancient times. Numerous inspiring accounts were left by world travelers like Fahien, Hiuen Tsang, Ibn Batuta, Alberuni, Ferishta, Vasco da Gama, Marco Polo, and several others after visiting India.
While the renowned American philosopher Will Durant described India as "the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's languages”, the German Indologist Max Muller described India as “the country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power and beauty that nature can bestow.”
In the modern context, India advocates a democratic and rules-based international order that emphasizes the equality of all nations, irrespective of size, population and military might. India adopts a consultative and law-abiding approach as its geopolitical role in the regional and global arena is increasingly getting recognized.
India’s commitment to transparency and market principles in its economic decisions and its steadfast will to keep its economy open and share its resources and markets with its global partners, including the Gulf countries, makes India a favored economic partner for countries across the globe.
The numerous measures that have been undertaken by the government of India toward ease of doing business including slashing of corporate tax rates, increasing foreign direct investment limits in a range of sectors and cutting red tape in decision making have inter alia resulted in India climbing to the 77th spot in the World Bank’s rankings for Ease of Doing Business, keeping India on course for a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25.
India’s bilateral relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the modern context date back to 1947 when diplomatic relations were established between the two countries immediately after India gained its Independence. The bilateral relationship has since evolved progressively into a multi-faceted and mutually-beneficial strategic partnership.
The signing of the agreement to form the ‘Strategic Partnership Council’ between the two countries during the official visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Kingdom in October 2019 marks a new era in the Indo-Saudi bilateral relations.
The top leadership of both countries is keen to strengthen and expand the entire gamut of bilateral relations spanning through diverse fields such as trade, investments & economic cooperation, infrastructure, security & defense cooperation, energy security, food security, healthcare, entertainment, civil aviation, tourism, and culture, besides people-to-people engagement.
India has a robust trade and economic engagement with the Kingdom, which is India’s fourth-largest trading partner with a bilateral trade of $34 billion, which includes a non-oil component of $10 billion. Several prestigious Indian companies are operating in the Kingdom and are participating in the development process under way in the country under its Vision 2030 program.
The two countries are in the process of identifying opportunities in which mutual investments could be encouraged through both public and private entities.
Saudi Arabia plays a significant role in ensuring India's energy security by meeting its long-term energy requirements, catering to 18 percent of its crude oil and 30 percent of its LPG needs.
The Kingdom’s plans to increase its footprint in India’s downstream sector through partnership in setting up the proposed world’s largest Greenfield refinery, taking equity stake in existing refineries and its decision to participate in India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves is reflective of the keen desire of both countries to transform bilateral cooperation in the hydrocarbons sector into a larger strategic partnership based on mutual complementarities and interdependence.
On its part, India is keen to contribute to the food security requirements of the Kingdom. Numerous initiatives are being explored in the fields of agriculture and food technologies. Greater collaboration in the areas of education, Knowledge-based Industries, innovative technologies, and capacity building are on the anvil.
India has assured its full support to the Kingdom to make its G20 Presidency a great success. Nearly 150 delegations from India, including several Cabinet ministers, are expected to visit the Kingdom this year and engage with their Saudi and other international counterparts on a range of issues such as finance, infrastructure, health care, climate change, energy sustainability, and food security.
I would be failing in my duty if I do not acknowledge the enormous contribution made by the Indian professionals and skilled workforce to the economic development of the Kingdom and for promoting greater understanding between the people of the two countries.
I would like to avail of this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman for their strong support in elevating the bilateral relations between our countries into a strategic partnership and for ensuring the well-being of 2.6 million Indian nationals resident in the Kingdom.
Long live India-Saudi Relationship!
Dr. Ausaf Sayeed
Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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