Indo-Saudi bilateral trade may rise 10% in FY19: Riyadh

The value of India-Saudi Arabia bilateral trade increased from $ 25.0 billion in 2016-17 to $27.5 billion in 2017-18, and is expected to go up by 10 per cent in the current financial year, said Saud bin Mohammed Al- Saty (in pic), ambassador of Saudi Arabia to India.

Speaking at an industry interaction organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Tuesday, ambassador Saty said there is still a lot of scope to further increase business relations between the two nations especially in the areas of agriculture, chemicals, fertilizer and tourism.

“Food security is a very important subject and Saudi Arabia is looking to invest in the Indian food sector particularly in packaging, storage and transportation, as India is one of the largest exporters of food grain and vegetables to Saudi Arabia.’’

It is estimated that there is about 30 per cent wastage in Indian agriculture sector due to issues with storage, poor cold chain, packaging and transportation. Investment by Saudi Arabia in packaging, storage and transportation would greatly benefit the nations, he added.

There is great potential for tourism as well, he further said. Last year alone Saudi Arabia has seen more than 500,000 visitors from India and it is expected to touch 800,000 by the end of this year.

The ambassador welcomed Indian investment in education sector as well as collaboration in IT sector. This would benefit 3 million Indian expats in the Kingdom, he said.