New Delhi: Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman, Mukesh Ambani, announced a major deal with Saudi Arabia’s state-run company, Saudi Aramco, worth $75 billion. The deal is considered as the biggest foreign direct investment till date in India.
The deal envisages that Saudi Aramco will get 20% stake in Reliance’s oil-to-chemicals business. The deal also includes supply of 5,00,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Aramco to RIL’s Jamnagar Refinery, which is the largest refining facility in the world.
Saudi Aramco is one of the largest companies in the world on the basis of revenue. The Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company is also the most profitable company in the world.
The Jammnagar refining facility processes 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd0. According to reports Reliance is planning to expand capacity to 2 million bpd by 2030.
Meanwhile, the deal between Saudi Arabian and Indian companies did not go down well with Pakistanis. They felt that the Saudis had betrayed the Muslims by doing a deal with an Indian company. The astronomical amount of the investment too raised eye brows in Pakistan.
Pakistan had been lobbying across the world ever since India scrapped Article 370. They reached out to the Saudis for supporting their cause and to condemn India. However, Saudi Arabia chose to remain silent on the issue. Rather than speaking for Pakistan they decided to keep close ties with India.
Many in Pakistan see this as a betrayal and backstabbing by one of their traditional friend in the Middle East. Many Pakistanis are surprised that the Saudi administration chose not to support Muslims in Kashmir.
Political experts believe that Saudi Arabia has woken up to the fact that Pakistan is a failing country which can offer no financial benefits. India on the other hand is a rising economic powerhouse in the South Asian region. The political and economic clout of India is gradually increasing under Narendra Modi and the BJP government.
The Saudi Crown Prince, Muhammad bin Salman, made a successful visit to India in February this year. The Prince met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to improve the historical ties between Saudi and India. Both sides agreed to increase trade relations and to increase the number of Indian pilgrims to Mecca to 200,000 every year.