Khurshid meets Saudi Labor Minister to enhance bilateral ties

New Delhi, Jan.3 : External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid met Minister of Labor of Saudi Arabia Adel Bin Mohammed Fakeih on Friday to enhance bilateral relations after both the countries signed labor cooperation pact for protecting Indian workers.

India and Saudi Arabia have signed an agreement on labor cooperation for domestic service workers recruitment.

On Thursday, the agreement was signed in New Delhi by Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi and Fakeih.

This is the first step towards a comprehensive agreement on labor cooperation covering the entire spectrum of Indian workers in Saudi Arabia.

The agreement was conceptualized during Ravi's visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in April 2013, where both the ministers had agreed to hold discussions and finalize it at an early date.

Ravi thanked the Saudi authorities for announcing grace period from April 2013 to November 2013 allowing overstaying expatriate workers to correct their status or to return to their country without penal action.

More than 1.4 million Indians have availed the concessions during the grace period to correct their status.

There are about 2.8 million Indians in Saudi Arabia and they constitute the biggest group of migrant communities.

Indians are the most preferred community in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia due to their hard work and discipline.

Economic relations between India and Saudi Arabia have shown remarkable growth with bilateral trade registering three-fold increase in the last few years.

Saudi Arabia is considered to be the fourth largest trade partner of India and the bilateral trade was $ 43.78 billion in 2012-13.

--ANI (Posted on 03-01-2014)

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