Indian workers in Saudi Arabia assured all help

RIYADH: Indian Ambassador Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan has assured the Indian diaspora living in Saudi Arabia of all support in mitigating their problems and ensuring their safety, protection, and comfort. The envoy said that the Indian government remains committed to diaspora engagements and is vigorously pursuing policies and plans to ensure that they are integrally involved in the process.

While interacting with the newsmen in Riyadh, Ambassador Khan said that Saudi Arabia is home to over 2.5 million Indian workers. This represents a major share in the total Indian diaspora population globally, which exceeds 32 million cumulatively. According to a report by the United Nations, the UAE, the US, and Saudi Arabia host the largest number of migrants from India.

Asked about the progressively growing relations between India and Saudi Arabia, the diplomat said, “India is among top investors in the Kingdom besides being one of the largest trading partners.”My endeavor will be to promote the bilateral relations further,” he added while referring to the two-way trade, which totaled $42.8 billion in the financial year of 2021-22.

The envoy, in reply to a question, said that “the discussions are underway to boost cooperation in energy sector.” To this end, it is important to note that Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil-producing nation, is preparing a slew of investments in India’s energy sector. The state-owned Saudi Aramco and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) have also decided to join hands on a $44 billion refinery project in Ratnagiri, which is in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

But, Saudi Arabia’s relationship with India is not only confined to cooperation in the energy sector now. Both countries have widened their ties into other fields, including defense, security, investment, health, food security, and culture. The exchange of several high-level visits and the formation of the strategic partnership council has given new momentum to bilateral relations.

The ambassador also replied to a few questions related to eMigrate Portal, recruitment of workers, and registration of  workers. The eMigrate Portal is the electronic platform of the government of India for automation of the emigration processes. The portal allows prospective emigrants to access the services offered by PGE, including emigrant registration, emigration clearance, applying for registration and accreditation, and raising recruitment-related applications online.

He pointed out that there have been discussions regarding opening branches of top-notch academic institutions of India in Saudi Arabia. The envoy added that both sides have evinced keen interest in collaboration in the education sector. There have been reports that a few Indian universities, including the top-notch Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) are working closely with the Kingdom to open their affiliated branches.

“For the global expansion of IITs, the Indian Central Government’s committee has selected the UK, UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Malaysia, and Thailand among other countries as prospective locations for offshore campuses,” said a report published recently. As per the officials, the selection of seven countries for expansion of IITs abroad was made based several key parameters, which include the level of interest and commitment, academic lineage, and conducive ecosystem to attract quality faculty and students.

Ambassador Dr. Khan also unfurled the national flag at the Indian embassy Thursday on the occasion of the 74th Republic Day. Dr. Khan also extended greetings and congratulations to all the attendees and shared his remarks highlighting the growing ties between India and Saudi Arabia. Cultural performances by the students of Indian schools in Riyadh followed this. Members of Indian community and friends of India attended the event.

Saudi Arabia and India are close allies. Over the past decade, the bilateral relations have grown considerably between the two nations. The shared values of Saudi Arabia and India have made it easy for the countries to collaborate in various areas of development, including those of security, defense, energy, civil aviation, space, and small industries amongst others.

The expanding ties the two countries have had in the past six years have streamlined the growth of interest, investments, and the stakes each of these two has in the other, respectively. Saudi Arabia is India’s 4th largest trade partner, only after the US, China, and the UAE. For the financial year 2021-2022, the bilateral trade between the Kingdom and India was valued at $42.8 billion. Under the present government in India, the Kingdom has, over the years, pledged more and more in terms of investments in India.

With both countries steadily investing in the economy of the other, future prospects for further collaborations seem bright and more lucrative. A host of major Indian corporate groups already have a booming presence in Saudi, including Tata, Wipro, TCS, Shapoorji, and L&T, just to name a few. The beaming prospect of setting up deep sea cables for renewable electricity grids, which will essentially link the Gulf region with South Asia, will create a green energy network across the regions. – INDIA NEWS STREAM

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