Political stability behind India’s growth: Modi

Riyadh: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that political stability is behind the economic growth story of India.

”The reason for India’s growth is political stability,” Modi, who arrived here earlier in the day on a two-day bilateral visit to Saudi Arabia on the third leg of his three-nation trip, said while addressing a gathering of members of the Indian community.

“In a very short span of time, India has once again given rise to new expectations at the world stage,” he said in a short speech made in a conference hall, a break from the large-scale diaspora events he is known for while visiting countries with a large Indian diaspora population.

Stating that the world’s attention towards India was due to its economic progress, he said the country could contribute a lot to the world.

Modi said that youth was India’s strength.

“The world needs a workforce that is talented and well-versed in technology,” he said.

The prime minister also said that India was making rapid strides in agriculture, industry and the services sector.

After his speech, Modi interacted with the people present and posed for photographs. There are nearly three million expatriate Indians in Saudi Arabia, making them the largest expatriate community in the Gulf kingdom and one of the largest in any country.

Apart from a large number of blue collar workers, Indian doctors, teachers, engineers and managers have made immense contributions to Saudi Arabia’s development, something that has been appreciated by the country’s rulers on numerous occasions.

Indians in Saudi Arabia make an important contribution to their homeland sending around $10 billion in remittances every year

Earlier on Saturday, Modi was received at the King Khalid International Airport by Governor of Riyadh Prince Faisal Bin Bandar Al Saud.

This is the first prime ministerial visit from India to the oil-rich Gulf kingdom since the visit of then prime minister Manmohan Singh in 2010.

In the afternoon, Modi visited the historic Masmak Fortress in the Saudi capital.

Located on Al Imam Turky Ibn Abdullah Ibn Muhammed street in Ad-Dira, Riyadh, the Masmak Fortress is one of the main attractions for visitors.

After the community event, Modi is scheduled to visit the L&T workers’ residential complex.

L&T is doing around $2 billion worth of work of the $600-billion Riyadh Metro Project.

Modi will be accorded a ceremonial welcome on Sunday afternoon at the Royal Court here by Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

King Salman will also host a lunch in honour of the visiting prime minister.

This will be followed by delegation-level talks and the signing of agreements.

During Modi’s visit, ties between India and Saudi Arabia are expected to be further elevated from the current strategic partnership to a more broad-based one.

Modi will leave for India late Sunday afternoon.