Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) recently chaired the Strategic Partnership Council (SPC) meeting, marking a significant milestone in bilateral relations between India and Saudi Arabia. But what exactly is the SPC?
Set up in 2019, the Strategic Partnership Council is an integral part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed during PM Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia. It aims to develop a comprehensive, enhanced and durable strategic partnership between the two nations. Key sectors include energy security, investment, finance, trade and culture, among others.
The SPC is co-chaired by Prime Minister Modi and Crown Prince MBS, exemplifying the close, high-level commitment between the two countries to collaborate on crucial issues of mutual interest. Uniquely, the SPC is divided into two parallel verticals; one deals with political, cultural and societal affairs, while the other overlooks economy, energy, investment, and productivity and labour. This structure allows a balanced and targeted approach towards enhancing bilateral partnerships.
At the latest meeting, PM Modi and Crown Prince MBS made significant strides in key areas. Discussions revolved around the current regional and global situation, counter-terrorism, renewable energy, food security, technology, defence and COVID-19 related cooperation.
The importance of this SPC gathering lies not only in the immediate measures agreed upon, but in the long-term vision for India-Saudi Arabia relations it presents. Establishing firm partnerships focused on mutual benefit is acknowledged as a critical element in achieving balanced and sustainable growth.
The SPC meeting also bolstered India’s Act West Policy and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, both of which share convergent interests, such as energy security, trade, investment, and cultural exchange. This duality reinforces the symbiotic nature of the relationship, highlighting the potential benefits to both nations.
In conclusion, the recent SPC meeting chaired by PM Modi and Crown Prince MBS establishes a clear and ambitious roadmap for India-Saudi Arabia relations. The Strategic Partnership Council plays an essential role in fostering deeper and wider cooperation, presenting the potential for profound impacts on global geopolitics and economies.