PM Narendra Modi to launch RuPay Card in Saudi Arabia

India,Australia,Japan,United States, Indo Pacific, consultations

Planning to visit Saudi Arabia? Fret not because RuPay Card is here!

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is paying an official visit to Saudi Arabia on October 29, 2019, at the invitation of King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saud informed the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday.

Prime Minister will reach Riyadh late night on October 28, 2019.

PM Modi will be attending the third session of the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh on 29th October 2019 where he will deliver the keynote address. There will also be a bilateral segment to his visit where he will meet, the King as well as hold delegation-level talks with Mohammad bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

During this visit, PM Modi will launch the RuPay card in Saudi Arabia during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country to help the Indian pilgrims visiting Mecca Madina for Haj and Umrah.

Ex-President of India, Pranab Mukherjee had dedicated RuPay cards, India’s own card payment network to the nation on May 8, 2014, at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

RuPay cards have been developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) – a ‘not-for-profit’ Company envisioned by Reserve Bank of India and created by the banking industry.

The RuPay cards symbolize the capabilities of the Indian banking industry in building a card payment network so that dependency on international card scheme is minimized

After the launch, Saudi Arabia would become the third country in the Gulf region to get the RuPay card facility after the UAE and Bahrain.

It is worth mentioning, as also noted by the MEA, that under its Vision – 2030 Saudi Arabia has selected eight countries for forging strategic partnerships. These include India, China, the UK, the United States, France, Germany, South Korea and Japan.

The two sides are set to finalize and move ahead on the west coast refinery in Raigad district of Maharashtra which will involve investments from Saudi’s Aramco, UAE’s ADNOC and Indian public sector oil companies. This will be the single largest Greenfield refinery in India.

India is also looking at enhancing cooperation in renewable energy. The Saudi side has earlier invested in a wind energy power project in Bhuj, Gujarat for 300 MW.

There was also a visit of the Saudi General Authority of Military Industry a few months ago where they met representatives of the Indian defense industry. Indian defense companies also visited Saudi Arabia subsequently. The first India-Saudi Arabia joint naval exercises will be held towards the end of December 2019 – beginning of January 2020.

Saudi Arabia hosts a 2.6 million Indian community and the Indians in Saudi Arabia send back remittances to the tune of $11 billion or more annually. India and Saudi Arabia signed during February 2019 an MoU on cooperation in the area of tourism. Saudi Arabia has recently opened its door for tourism which will further strengthen these relations. India has also extended e-Visa facility to Saudi nationals this year.