Riyadh: External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Sunday termed Saudi Arabia an important player in global economy due to its impressive growth numbers and its central position in the energy markets.
Jaishankar, who is on an official visit to Saudi Arabia from Sept 10 to Sept 12, was responding to a Saudi news outlet in Riyadh.
Addressing diplomats at the Prince Saud Al Faisal Institute of Diplomatic Studies, the Minister underlined the importance of India-Saudi Strategic Relationship.
“Underlined the importance of India-Saudi Strategic Relationship at a time when the world is at crossroads,” the Minister wrote on Twitter informing about the event.
“Our collaboration holds promise of shared growth, prosperity, stability, security and development,” Jaishankar added in thread.
During the visit, Dr S Jaishankar also met Saudi dignitaries as well as Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Dr Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf and called his meeting “productive.”
“Productive meeting with GCC Secretary General Dr. Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf. Signed the MoU on mechanism of consultations between India and GCC. Exchanged views on current regional and global situation and the relevance of India-GCC cooperation in that context,” the Minister said taking to Twitter.
Dr Jaishankar began his visit to Saudi Arabia with an interaction with the Indian community. He appreciated the contribution of Indian diaspora in facing national challenges.
The Minister spoke to the Indians about the country’s resilience especially during Covid times.
Interacting with the Indian community, Jaishankar expressed confidence that India will be the fastest growing major economy in the world this year and will at least grow at 7 per cent.
“Many other new challenges have come up because of the Ukraine crisis. Prices of oil and food have gone up. Price of shipping has gone up. But we are still very confident that India will be the fastest growing major economy in the world this year. We are confident that we will get at least 7 per cent,” he said.
He said India has posted the highest export ever.
Our total exports are 672 billion dollars, the idea of India as a trading power that has become credible, he said.
The External Affairs Minister also said India’s economic recovery after Covid period is worth studying.
“Everybody’s economy took a hit. We ourselves went through a certain period of a complete lockdown. The challenge which everybody had was how quickly do you recover, and how much do you recover. Here too, I would say, what we have done is definitely worth studying,” the Minister said.
“Many countries spent a lot of public money during the Covid period. Almost, I would say, like a knee-jerk… They were in a hurry to respond to the crisis situation. So they didn’t all of them necessarily use their funds their resources wisely,” he added.
The Minister credited the government schemes for avoiding a Spanish flue like situation during the Covid waves and lauded the country’s efforts to deal with the pandemic.
During Spanish flue as many people died of food shortages and unemployment as with the disease, that didn’t happen, he added.
India-Saudi Arabia relations have strengthened considerably over the past few years including in political, security, energy, trade, investment, health, food security, cultural and defence fields. (UNI)