New Delhi: Heads of private and PSU
refiners, including Mukesh Ambani of RIL and Essar`s Shashi
Ruia, and IT poster boys Azim Premji and S Ramadorai figure in
the business delegation accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh on his maiden visit to Saudi Arabia next week.
Oil cartel OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia is India`s largest
crude oil supplier. The presence of heads of Indian Oil,
Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum, along with Ambani`s
and Ruia`s, was to emphaise the importance New Delhi places on
the Gulf nation for its energy needs, official sources said.
Arguably the most powerful, the delegation would explore
strategic relations with the oil rich nation during Singh`s
two-day visit from February 27. A contract to set up a USD
750-million joint investment fund will be signed during the
visit. Saudi Arabia will contribute USD 500 million.
Ambani`s twin refineries at Jamnagar, along with Essar`s
neighbouring unit that is on expansion mode, give Saudi the
single largest export destination in the region.
Sources said the visit would seek to expand the strategic
partnership reached between the two countries during the trip
of Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz here in January 2006 and
will focus on increasing ties in energy and IT.
L&T Chairman A M Naik and Engineers India Ltd Chairman
and Managing Director A K Purwaha are also a part of the
delegation to give impetus to Indians looking at the
engineering and construction jobs in Saudi Arabia.