Remarks by Amin H. Nasser, Saudi Aramco President & CEO
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon and Namaste.
Let me first thank Dan Yergin for that kind introduction, and his team for their gracious hospitality.
When Dan asked me to speak at this select gathering, I was honored to be part of his first event in India – not only as a long-time supporter of CERA Week but as a good friend. Furthermore, given Saudi Arabia’s historic and fraternal ties with India, it was a chance to meet many other old friends.
But the most important reason by far was the chance to make new friends in India, build new partnerships, and strive for new shared success. Because India and Saudi Arabia are giants on the move. We both have economies with enormous potential.
And that potential is being unlocked by two bold new strategies – in India’s case with Prime Minister Modi’s signature initiative called “Vision for a New India”, and in our case Saudi Vision 2030.
At the heart of both visions is the goal of balanced and sustained economic development and diversification, fueled by further industrialization, a knowledge economy, and foreign direct investment.
Given this potential, the logic of closer economic cooperation and enhanced trade and investment has never been greater – in both directions. Saudi Aramco, for example, has purchased almost two billion dollars’ worth of materials and services from Indian companies in the past six years.
But as our business portfolio expands and diversifies, and with Vision 2030 projects accelerating, we are seeing added impetus, with business volume doubling in just the past three years.
This also speaks highly of the Indian firms’ ability to compete on both quality and cost, and I am certain that Indian investors will make the most of the enormous opportunities on offer in Saudi Arabia. But my focus this afternoon is India.
Let me explain why I believe the moment is right for a step-change in Saudi Aramco’s partnership with this great nation.
First, most analysts expect India’s economy to be second only to China’s by 2050, with the largest and youngest workforce in the world.
Second, one of the principal drivers of that growth is the “Make in India” campaign. It is designed to make India a global manufacturing hub. But it is also expected to cause a sharp rise in demand for oil, gas, and other energy sources, with signs that this is already happening.
Last year, India’s oil consumption grew by over 8% compared with global growth of 1.5%, making it the third largest consumer of oil. By 2040, India is likely to be among the fastest growing oil markets, with demand almost doubling to about 10 MMBD. Meanwhile, demand for gas is expected to more than triple over the same period.
Third, this rise in energy demand will have important implications.The security of energy supplies will become more critical. That will require a stronger partnership between India and its oil and gas suppliers (and potential investors) to deliver an efficient and robust energy sector.
In turn, extra strength needs to be injected now and at pace if that goal is to be achieved.
That is why I am convinced that the world’s fastest growing energy consumer and the world’s largest, lowest cost and most reliable oil supplier, must elevate their relationship to a much higher plane.To us at Saudi Aramco, the practical steps are obvious.
We are determined to reflect our expanding and diversifying business portfolio by creating a fully integrated business here in India, and share the fruits of success with you.
By that I mean the entire value chain, covering everything from oil supply, refining, and marketing to manufacturing of petrochemicals and lubes.
I also mean collaboration in energy manufacturing and services, as well as R&D and technology. We will back that with investment in India’s flourishing energy market; joint ventures; and by leveraging the world-class talent India has in IT, petroleum, and evolving technologies.
That is why we were delighted to officially open our new office in New Delhi yesterday in the presence of His Excellency Minister Pradhan.
We hope it will broaden and deepen our partnership with India; demonstrate our long-term commitment to India’s energy security and development; and help to increase bilateral trade far beyond the 25 billion dollars it is today.
It is the perfect symbol, Ladies and Gentlemen, of how India and Saudi Arabia are on the move, and how both are open for business.
Now is the perfect time for Saudi Aramco to aim much higher with our Indian friends and partners, and for India to do the same.
To paraphrase Prime Minister Modi, “We should walk together, work together, and progress together.”
And with this mantra in mind, I look forward to your questions and suggestions.