NEW DELHI: India and hydrocarbon-rich Saudi Arabia today decided to transform the buyer-seller ties in the energy sector into a partnership and agreed to fast-track finalization of a pact that will facilitate investments by their private sectors, especially in petrochemical sector.
“The two sides agreed to explore ways and means to transform the buyer-seller relationship in the energy-sector to one of deeper partnership focusing on investment and joint ventures bilaterally and also in third countries,” said a Joint Statement.
The statement, issued at the end of a three-day visit by Saudi Crown Prince Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud here, said the two sides agreed to hold further discussions on this during the next meeting of the annual energy consultations.
The two sides also decided to work to finalize the framework agreement between the General Investment Authority in Saudi Arabia (SAGIA) and Invest India, which will facilitate investments by the private sectors in the two countries, especially in the fields of the petrochemical industries, pharmaceuticals, medical equipments and for the establishment of joint ventures in these fields.
On the issue of investment and trade, both the countries decided to address the issues hindering these and as they pushed for greater cooperation especially in the fields of infrastructure and technology transfer, skilled human resources in information technology, electronics and telecommunications.
During the visit of Saud, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia, the two sides signed a defense cooperation agreement. . Batting for greater cooperation in the area of radio and television, media coverage and exchange of programs and training, the two countries agreed on exchanging expertise in the regulation of audio-visual media between the concerned regulatory bodies.
They also agreed on activation of the agreement signed between Saudi Press Agency (SPA) and the Press Trust of India (PTI).
India seeks greater cooperation with Saudi Arabia. During his three-day visit Saud met President Pranab Mukherjee and held bilateral discussions with Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The 2006 visit of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to India witnessed the signing of “Delhi Declaration”. This also led to the foundation for establishing a strategic partnership and developing cooperation between the two countries in various fields.
This was followed by Manmohan Singh’s visit to the Gulf Kingdom in 2010, during which “Riyadh Declaration” was signed, which further deepened bilateral cooperation in various fields.–PTI