‘India, Arab countries can partner to develop oil, gas reserves’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 14, 2020 Published on October 14, 2020

Diversification of trade basket beyond hydrocarbons is important, says MEA

India and the Arab countries, in the Gulf and West Asia, can explore the forging of partnerships and investments to develop the oil and gas reserves of the country, a top Ministry of External Affairs official has said.

"Developing the significant fields in Kutch district, Cauvery basin, Mahanadi basin, Hugli basin and offshore locations in Bay of Bengal will broaden hydrocarbon production and provide win-win solutions longer into the future," MEA Secretary (CPV and OIA) Sanjay Bhattacharyya said delivering his keynote address at LEADS 2020 seminar on 'Gulf and West Asia, reimagining business beyond oil' on Wednesday.

The Secretary said the movement towards alternate energy sources was leading to a new partnership in renewables which was evident in the shaping of the International Solar Alliance. "We are happy that a number of countries in the region are associated with the International Solar Alliance. Collaboration in solar and other renewables, where efficient technologies are being developed, will give a more rounded context to energy security for both sides in the long run," he said.

Bhattacharyya also stressed on the importance of bilateral cooperation with the region, particularly in the Gulf, in the area of human resources.

Indians were the largest expat community in the region, with 9 million workers and professionals (30 per cent of all expat workforce), who also remitted $48 billion to India, which helped domestic development, he pointed out.

There was scope for much greater cooperation with the introduction of new technologies, he said. "Mobility agreements of the future can focus on the integration of our official migration platforms, such that there is a better flow of information between the foreign employer and the potential worker or professional. This will facilitate selection of better and more skilled candidates on the one hand and improved job security on the other," he said.

The Secretary also talked about the possibility of two-way investments increasing significantly, with sovereign wealth funds and portfolio investments from the Gulf region and Indian corporate investments playing a leading role. "Similarly, diversification of the trade basket beyond hydrocarbons, to include engineering goods, gems and jewellery, precious metals, food products, textiles and chemicals in our exports and new products in our imports can give impetus to our trade relations," he said.

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Published on October 14, 2020
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