Economically, the two countries share a strong relationship with trade and investment that form the cornerstone of bilateral relations. Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth-largest trading partner and an important energy partner, supplying around 18% of India’s crude oil needs and 30% of LPG needs.
Narendra Modi who is the Indian prime minister visited Saudi Arabia took place in the context of India’s decision to repeal Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan’s desperate attempt to internationalize the issue. Unlike Turkey and Malaysia, Saudi Arabia has taken a positive approach towards India and has warned Pakistan against escalating the crisis.
Renewable energy– another sector in which there is a convergence of interests between India and Saudi Arabia. Both the countries have set an ambitious goal to increase the renewable energy content of their respective power generation portfolios which justifies their strong partnership. In February, the Kingdom became the 73rd member of the International Solar Alliance. Even India and Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of renewable energy to make a clear understanding of their core values and needs.
Defense relations constitute an important element of the shared strategic vision for the region and are a testament to India’s strong ties with the Kingdom. In the existing regional and international geostrategic arrangement, the strategic relations between India and Saudi Arabia are progressing well.
The Hajj pilgrim organization is the largest operation run by the Indian government outside its borders and is one of the key components of the bilateral relationship.
For India, with an estimated Muslim population of 200 million (the third-largest in the world), a friendship with Saudi Arabia also brings some legitimacy. The economic and strategic weight of India is growing on the world stage. It would appear that the relationship between India and Saudi Arabia will continue to grow over the years.