JEDDAH — Prominent Saudi and Indian dignitaries underscored the need for further bolstering bilateral relations between the two countries in a way that would benefit people of both nations.
Addressing an iftar party organized by the Gammon Group at Red Sea Palace Hotel here on Sunday, they shed light into the strong bonds that bind the Kingdom with India since centuries.
“The centuries-old historic relations between the two great nations have built a strong foundation for transforming bilateral ties into greater heights of strategic partnership. This is the best time to cash in for the mutual benefit of the peoples of both nations,” they said while highlighting Arabs’ trade relations with India that date back even to the period before the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Prince Saud Bin Musaed Bin Abdulaziz, president of the Gammon Group, said that more and more Saudis are keen to take advantage of India’s vast potential in various sectors especially in education, information technology and healthcare.
“There has been a substantial increase in the number of Saudis going to India for their higher studies as well as for medical treatment. The figure of Saudis who visited India last year alone for the same shot up to over 35,000,” he said.
In reciprocal overtures, Prince Saud said, more and more Indian companies are coming forward to take advantage of the vast investment opportunities in the Kingdom.
The prince said that his Gammon Group is doing everything to facilitate these companies to do business and make investments in the Kingdom.
In his speech, renowned scholar and General Secretary of the All India Muslim Scholars Association Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliyar highlighted the historic India-Saudi relations.
He noted that both the countries are heavily interdependent and are always keen on maintaining respectful and dignified relations.
“We are thankful to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and the government of Saudi Arabia for their great care and support to Indians, who make up nearly one third of the Kingdom’s foreign workforce.”
Indians have won appreciation and accolades from the Saudi authorities as the community who took maximum advantage of the amnesty period by regulating their status as part of the Nitaqat program.
While commending the Kingdom for the best treatment being given to the foreign workforce, Musliyar said that Indian expatriates would continue rendering their contributions to this great nation’s development process.
Gammon Group’s Chairman Sheikh Rafik Mohammed said that his group is keen to play a vital role in enhancing Saudi – India commercial relations in its capacity as a facilitator of joint ventures.
The group’s CEO Dr. Faiz Al-Abideen highlighted the group’s activities in further cementing the bonds between the two countries.
Prominent figures who attended the iftar party included British Consul General Mohammed Shaukat, Indian Consul General BS Mubarak, South African Consul General Ebrahim Edries, Khaled Almaeena, editor at large Saudi Gazette, Panakkad Sayed Basheerali Shihab Thangal, Tarek Miskhes, editor in chief of Urdu News and Malayalam News, Akbar Unnian Alavi, managing director of Al-Akbar Enterprise and Travel Services of India, N. Jehangir, vice chairman and managing director of SFM Technologies, and Mohamed Aboobacker, managing director of STARCO.