The India-Arab partnership is robust and indispensable, MoS Muraleedharan says

India-Arab trade relations have withstood the test of time, Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Tuesday (July 11, 2023), noting that the region caters to about 60% of India's crude oil imports.

"Even during the recent pandemic and global geopolitical conflicts, the trade between India and the Arab world continued to grow. Today, it stands at over USD 240 billion. The Arab world is endowed with vast natural resources, especially oil, gas and fertilizers which are vital for energy and food security," he said.

He was addressing the 6th India-Arab Partnership Conference at New Delhi. The conference was organized by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in partnership with the League of Arab States (LAS), the Union of Arab Chambers (UAC), the Federation of Arab Businessmen (FAB), and the Federation of Indian Chambers and Industries (FICCI).

The conference, which focused on the theme 'India-Arab Business Co-operation: The way forward', was attended by ambassadors, diplomats, senior officials, representatives of business and industry, and distinguished delegates from India and the Arab world. The event serves as a platform to explore new avenues for collaboration and propel the India-Arab partnership to greater heights.

In his address, MoS Muraleedharan pointed out that the region caters to about 60% of India's crude oil imports, and more than 50% of fertilizers and related products, making the partnership "robust and indispensable".

The region has a young and dynamic population, with a growing consumer market, he added.

There are growing investments from both sides, with a clear vision of shared success and prosperity, he noted. "Our wide-ranging partnership with Arab countries encompasses every aspect of human endeavour – from food & energy to financial services to health & education, Information Technology & renewable energy, Start-ups and large infrastructure projects," he said.

MoS Muraleedharan also highlighted India's emergence as the fastest-growing major economy in the world, with a GDP of over $3.5 trillion. He spoke about the government's efforts to improve the country's business environment and implement innovative measures to boost manufacturing and investments in the country. The minister mentioned the introduction of transformational policy decisions like the Start-Up India and Make in India initiatives, which have led to the development of world-class manufacturing capabilities in India.

During the conference, a knowledge report on India-Arab relations titled 'Winds of Shared Prosperity' was released by the Minister of State and other dignitaries. The report was prepared by FICCI and highlighted the potential for cooperation between India and the Arab world in various sectors, including renewable energy, healthcare, and education.

In his address, MoS Muraleedharan appreciated the efforts of the organizers in putting together the conference and highlighted the importance of the India-Arab partnership. He emphasized the historic and cultural ties between India and the Arab world, which have contributed to the rapid boost in business and commercial ties between the two regions.