Saudi remittances a major source of income for India: report

Saudi remittances a major source of income for India: report

Indians form Saudi Arabia's largest expatriate workforce, working in fields from information technology to construction, with most employed as blue-collar workers, the Banque Saudi Fransi report said.

"Tightening ties, Asian oil demand and pragmatism at crux of Saudi-Indian relations, Saudi exports to India rise seven-fold, imports jump six-fold between 2000 and 2008, with trade balance consistently favouring the kingdom India's geographic dependence on Saudi oil likely to grow in coming years as it seeks energy security to support economic growth plans," the report said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday  began the first official visit by an Indian premier to Saudi Arabia in 28 years as two states strive to deepen economic and diplomatic ties.The trading ties between Saudi Arabia and India is among the most-strategic bilateral bonds for either country.

As India's largest supplier of crude oil, Saudi Arabia is favourably positioned to benefit from burgeoning demand for energy in Asia’s third-largest economy, a report released here today has said. The balance of trade between the two states has consistently swung in favour of Saudi Arabia, its trade surplus standing at 67.3 billion Saudi riyals in 2008, up almost seven-fold from 2000 levels.

For India, Saudi Arabia comes fourth after China, the United States and the United Arab Emirates as its most-important trading partner.Saudi imports of Indian goods stood at 18 billion Saudi riyals in 2008, marking an almost six-fold rise from 2000, according to data of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).

"That positioned India as the sixth-largest source of Saudi imports, accounting for 12.4 per cent of the kingdom's total imports from Asia in 2008. India's geographic dependence on Gulf oil is likely to become amplified in the coming years due to limited prospects for enhancing domestic energy production," said John Sfakianakis, the Chief Economist at the bank.

Common interests in supporting peace and promoting security in the region, as well as building counter-terrorism measures, form a pivotal part of the bilateral relationship, which has become strengthened in the recent past due to Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Indian interests in the Gulf Arab region are perceived as more important than its interests with Iran.

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