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Can't compare India with Pakistan, says Saudi Commerce Minister, adds both have potential

"I don't think we should compare India with Pakistan. India and Pakistan are both countries, everyone has potential," said Saudi Commerce Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi.

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Can't compare India with Pakistan, says Saudi Commerce Minister, adds both have potential
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The Saudi Commerce Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi has said when it comes to the west coast refinery being built by Saudi's Aramco, UAE's ADNOC and Indian energy companies, it is up to Indian government to give land and ball is in New Delhi's court. Speaking to our diplomatic correspondent Sidhant Sibal in Riyadh, Qasabi also talked about India as an investment destination and PM Modi's Saudi visit.

Question: Saudi Arabia has plans to invest $100 bn in India. Can you provide us a break-up?

Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi: As you know, it takes two to tango, both leaders have a great relation, have a great understanding, have a great friendship, we value the Indian people, we appreciate the efforts which have been done in last 60 years, Indian friends and brothers have been a forklift to the Saudi economy, they are the largest workforce force of Saudi Arabia and constitute 22% of our manpower resource and they are disciplined and highly committed people. So India is an important trading partner to Saudi Arabia and we support India in the energy supply of oil. It is a win-win situation and we see we can do more with India. We can leverage the advantage India has in innovation, high tech, and entrepreneurship so all of these, we can take it forward. Regarding the opportunities, we started with Aramco, it has taken a decision to build a refinery and it is a huge investment, its a commitment and waiting for the government of India to choose the land and select and we have understood as the PM said that a new regional government has been chosen, so he expects in a very short time the land will be decided. So ball is now in India's court and it is a beginning of $35 billion investment. We have decided, for every stream identified, there will be a champion from both parties. A council has been created by both the leaders, this council which is supported and headed by both leaders will accelerate the achievement. 

Question: How do u see the visit of Indian PM Modi?
Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi: The visit was very successful. It is extremely successful because first, we have learnt so much more about India through such communication. It is through such meetings we learn and understand each other. As we said earlier, communication, communication and communication because if we don't communicate, we misunderstand each other, we miss perceive each other and misjudge others and we are guilty by being absent & being silent. 

Question: How do u see India as an investment destination vis a vis Pakistan?
Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi: I don't think we should compare India with Pakistan. India and Pakistan are both countries, everyone has potential. Pakistan is great also, and everyone has a distinctive competence and Saudi Arabia looks at all interest and values its relationship with Pakistan and value its relationship with India.

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