Saudi Arabian and Indian companies can jointly unlock enormous new growth opportunities, and boost bilateral trade and relations as part of efforts to achieve long-term economic and development goals.
Amin H Nasser, president and CEO, Saudi Aramco, said at the inaugural IHS CERAWeek India Energy Forum that Saudi Vision 2030 and Vision for a New India can help companies from both countries and across various sectors to tap into significant new growth opportunities because of these programmes.
“At the heart of both programmes is the goal of balanced and sustained economic development and diversification, fuelled by further industrialisation, a knowledge economy, and foreign direct investment,” Nasser said at the inaugural India Energy Forum by CERAWeek in New Delhi.
Nasser who met the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi before the forum, said Saudi Aramco would like to invest across India’s downstream value chain and form partnerships with leading Indian energy companies. He added that Saudi Aramco’s strategic sourcing and procurement business with Indian companies is growing and expected that to increase in the coming years.
“We intend to strengthen partnerships with Indian energy firms – beyond the supply of crude and LPG – and also invest in refining, distribution, retail and petrochemicals that strengthens India’s energy sector, and helping to enhance resilience against volatile oil markets,” Nasser commented.
“In the past six years, Saudi Aramco’s spending on material services sourced from Indian suppliers has reached almost $2bn, with $1.3bn alone of that occurring in just the past three years,” Nasser revealed.
“But most important of all, Saudi Aramco recognises what the world recognises – the quality of India’s intellectual and human capital is unsurpassed, an engine of global innovation and leadership,” Nasser added.
More importantly, Nasser said that Saudi Aramco is ready and eager to tap into the growth of India – its economy is expected to be second only to China’s by 2050 – with the largest and youngest workforce in the world.
“That is why I am convinced that one of the world’s fastest growing economy and the world’s largest, lowest cost and most reliable oil supplier, must elevate their relationship to a much higher level,” Nasser remarked.
One of the principal drivers of that growth is the ‘Make in India’ campaign which is designed to make India a global manufacturing hub.
Nasser said that along with that, it is also expected to cause a sharp rise in demand for oil, gas, and other energy sources, with signs that this is already happening.
“Last year, India’s oil consumption grew by over 8% compared with global growth of 1.5%, making it the third largest consumer of oil. By 2040, India is likely to be among the fastest growing oil markets, with demand almost doubling to about 10mmbd. Meanwhile, demand for gas is expected to more than triple over the same period,” Nasser added.
Nasser stressed that this rise in energy demand would have important implications of which the security of energy supplies will become more critical. He said it will require a stronger partnership between India and its oil and gas suppliers (and potential investors) to deliver an efficient and robust energy sector.
Nasser added that the inauguration of the new Aramco Asia India office on 8 October 2017 was testimony of Saudi Aramco’s commitment in creating new partnerships and reinforcing existing ones with this India.
“We hope it will broaden and deepen our partnership with India; demonstrate our long-term commitment to India’s energy security and development; and help to increase bilateral trade far beyond the $25bn it is today,” Nasser concluded.
Nasser was a keynote speaker at the forum, alongside Indian minister of petroleum and natural gas, and skill development and entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan, and the secretary general of OPEC, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo.