Saudi Arabia, India renew pledge to boost economic ties

King Salman received Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 18 February 2018
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Saudi Arabia, India renew pledge to boost economic ties

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and India have renewed pledges to boost bilateral economic, investment and trade cooperation following talks between King Salman and Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at Al-Yamamah Palace on Sunday.
“King Salman and the Indian minister discussed bilateral relations and ways of developing and enhancing them in various fields,” said an SPA report.
Jaitley also attended a meeting with a large number of top-notch Saudi businessmen at the Council of Saudi Chamber (CSC), where he was received by Ahmed Sulaiman Al-Rajhi, CSC chairman.
“The progressively growing cooperation between the Kingdom and India in the fields of trade and commerce; and how to strengthen trade ties; figured prominently in the meeting,” said a CSC statement. Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth-largest trading partner besides being a major energy supplier to India. The volume of two-way trade between the two countries exceeded $25 billion in 2016-17.
Dr. Saud M. Al-Sati, the Saudi ambassador to India, told Arab News: “The Saudi-India Joint Ministerial Commission’s (JMC) meeting will be held here on Monday.” The JMC, in which many top Saudi and Indian officials will participate, will chalk out a plan to cooperate with each other for economic development, he added. This 12th JMC will be co-chaired by Dr. Majed Al-Qasabi from the Saudi side and Jaitley for India.
The meeting will focus on enhancing bilateral cooperation, knowledge exchange and economic ties between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia and India enjoy cordial and friendly relations and have forged closer strategic ties. The visit of King Salman to India, as crown prince in 2014, further deepened the relations between the two countries. Moreover, the recent visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2016 is seen as a turning point in the growing engagement between the Kingdom and India.


Saudi royal decree guarantees allowances to cover cost of living for new fiscal year

Updated 15 min 13 sec ago
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Saudi royal decree guarantees allowances to cover cost of living for new fiscal year

A royal decree by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman ordered the continuation of allowances covering the cost of living for civil sector employees for the new fiscal year on Tuesday.

The decree states that 1,000 Saudi riyals ($266) would be given to citizens on a monthly basis.  This will continue for one year until the study of the social protection system is completed.

Saudi Arabia also announced plans to increase state spending by more than seven percent next year in an effort to spur economic growth, which has been hurt by low oil prices, according to a 2019 budget released by the finance ministry.