http://netindian.in/news/2010/11/26...velop-indo-saudi-strategic-partnership-sharma Union Minister of Commerce and Industry today said better economic ties would help lay a solid foundation for the development of the India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership. At a meeting with his Saudi counterpart Abdullah bin Ahmed Zainal Alireza, Mr Sharma said that, while the trade ties were already quite substantial, there was immense potential for taking them to a much higher level. Mr Sharma said that strategies should be developed for increasing the volume of trade in traditional items and diversfying the trade basket. According to an official press release, both sides felt that the focus should be shifted to investment and joint ventures for enhancng trade as well as services. They also said that there should be regular exchange of business delegations to sensitise the businessmen of both countries. Mr Sharma said India was keen to set up joint ventures for gas-based fertiliser plant in Saudi Arabia. The Indian Minister told the meeting that the total trade between the two countris had grown manifold from $ 3.442 billion in 2005-06 to $ 21.005 billion in 2009-10. He said Indian exports to Saudi Arabia had increased from $ 1.810 billion in 2005-06 to $ 3.907 billion in 2009-10. The major items of export to Saudi Arabia are petroleum products; rice basmati; non-ferrous metals; machinery and instruments; dyes/intermediary and coal tar chemicals. Imports from Saudi Arabia have increased substantially from $ 1.632 billion in 2005-06 to $1710 billion in 2009-10 and the main items of imports are petroleum products, organic chemicals, artificial resin and plastics.