Manmohan Singh arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday evening on a three-day visit, the first by an Indian prime minister since 1982. Here are some salient facts about bilateral relations between the two countries:
- Saudi Arabia is India's fourth largest trading partner with two-way trade of over $25 billion.
- The kingdom is the largest supplier of hydrocarbons to India, accounting for 20 percent of crude oil imports.
- There are around 500 Indian joint ventures in Saudi Arabia with an estimated investment of over $2 billion.
- Manmohan Singh's address to the Shura Council will be a singular honour. The council is an influential body of the top intellectual elite of Saudi Arabia, all nominated by the Saudi king.
- Since King Abdullah's visit to India in 2006, the two sides have had 19 exchanges at the ministerial level and trade has tripled during this time.
- Some 1.8 million Indians, out of an estimated 5 million in the Gulf countries, live in Saudi Arabia.
- India accounted for 167,000 Haj pilgrims last year, the highest ever.
- Manmohan Singh's visit comes 28 years after then prime minister Indira Gandhi visited Saudi Arabia in 1982.