Saudi Arabia's investment in India is expected to get a fillip with Prime Minister Narendra Modi going to sign several key agreements to foster economic cooperation during his two-day visit to the Gulf state that starts on October 29.New Delhi and Riyadh are expected to finalise a joint venture deal to build the $44 billion-Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals in Maharashtra, which will be the largest greenfield refinery in India.
Also, both countries will sign an agreement for a joint strategic partnership council and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for launching India's digital payment system – RuPay card, T S Tirumurti, secretary (economic relations), at the Ministry of External Affairs, told reporters. The Ratnagiri refinery is being promoted by Saudi Aramco, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), along with three oil marketing companies - Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp.
Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi's Adnoc will own 25 per cent of equity each in the refinery, which will have an installed capacity to process 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day and 18 million tonnes of petrochemical products. Apart from Ratnagiri refinery, concrete steps will be taken to finalise Saudi Arabia's investment in India's national infrastructure investment fund, a framework for aligning the e-migration system of both the countries and a bilateral agreement on a number of flights between the two countries.
$100 Billion Investment Plan
According to media reports, Saudi Arabia, India's fourth-largest trading partner, plans to invest $100 billion in India in several other mega ventures. More than 40 opportunities for joint venture investments across various sectors have been identified between India and Saudi Arabia this year. India, which relies on Saudi Arabia for its 17 per cent of crude oil and 32 per cent of LPG requirement, is an attractive investment destination for the Kingdom and it is eyeing long-term partnerships with New Delhi in areas of oil, gas and mining.
New Delhi also plans to hold joint naval exercises with Riyadh at the end of this year and into early 2020, Trimurti said, with Saudi defence personnel receiving training in India. Two countries are also set to sign an MoU for a joint venture between Indian Oil Middle East and with Saudi company Al Jeri for downstream cooperation and setting up of fuel retail business in the Gulf country. Modi, who will meet Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and hold delegation-level talks with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, will also address the third edition of Saudi Arabia's Future Investment Initiative.