Souvenirs from Saudi: Modi Strikes Gold Again

BENGALURU: Prime Minister Narendra Modi strikes gold again, after his recent Saudi trip, promising mutual ties between the two countries, reports India and Saudi Arabia have entered into an agreement that is bound to improve trade ties, with large investments to be made by Saudi firms, especially in the oil-drilling front.

Following the growth of bilateral trade between the two countries, which summed up to $39Bn in the 2014-15 timeframe, Prime Minister Modi and Saudi king, Salman bin Abdulaziz agreed to build a substantial and deeper partnership in the energy industry.

From a joint statement issued by the two leaders, it was revealed that there will be focus on expanding trade and investment ties to drive strategic engagement forward. Both India and Saudi Arabia have directed their respective Finance and Trade Ministers to work in collaboration with each other. It is believed that this will lay the cornerstone for the ministers to device prospective plans, which will increase the flow of bilateral investments and growth of trade ties. On this note, the two countries have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The cooperative program between Invest India and the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority will put forth a framework for the bilateral investment strategy.

One of the key points of the MoU stresses on the Ministry of Labor of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of India working together to promote recruitment of general category workers (foreign workers). Building a technical bridge between the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) was another key point that was signed off.

In the light of the recent Panama Papers leak pulling out reputed names in the international political circles and other celebrities, the Indo-Saudi treaty also addressed a Memorandum of Understanding that brings the Financial Intelligence Units of both the countries together for intelligence exchange related to money laundering, terrorism financing and related crimes. The leaders also welcomed the move for promoting cyber security initiatives that will counteract terrorism caused in the cyber space to disrupt social harmony.

In an effort to highlight the handicraft industry, Modi’s memorandum will also introduce a cooperation program between the Export Promotion Council for Handicraft (India) and Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.

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