Bahrain, India to continue advancing relations, strengthening bonds

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By Noreen Al Thawadi

Manama, Jan. 26 (BNA): India continues to be among Bahrain's top trading partners, with bilateral trade reaching its highest level of above $ 1.65 billion in 2021-22, India's Ambassador to Bahrain has said.

"Our economic and commercial cooperation is growing in education, health and pharma sectors, and has expanded to the new and emerging areas of IT, big data, fintech, space technology, food security and renewable energy," Ambassador Piyush Srivastava said.

"Our economic collaboration as well as investments from both sides have also increased, with about 10 physical and virtual B2B meetings covering diverse sectors held last year," he said in a statement marking India's Republic Day.

India is also committed to increasing cooperation in technology, start-ups and sports sector, involving youth of our two countries, he noted.

"Our collaboration in regional and multilateral arena has also strengthened. In significant milestones last year, Bahrain joined International Solar Alliance as Member, and India joined Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), headquartered in Bahrain as Associate Partner. With high-level political, parliamentary, official and commercial engagements, we have an exciting year ahead. We also look forward to greater participation from Bahrain (as Dialogue Partner of SCO) in various events being hosted by India as SCO Chair this year."

Looking back at Bahrain-India relations in 2022, Srivastava said that they continued their momentum and upward trajectory.

"His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, and Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi held telephonic conversation at the beginning of the year. This was followed by a number of visits of senior political and official, trade and commercial, security and defence delegations."

They included visits by Undersecretary for Political Affairs Dr. Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, for the third Foreign Office Consultations, and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Sanjay Mahindru to Bahrain.

Oil and Environment Minister Dr. Mohamed bin Mubarak bin Daina participated in the Voice of the Global South Summit', virtually hosted by India earlier this month, he said.

"The year-long celebrations for the golden jubilee of establishment of diplomatic relations focusing on our deep bonds of friendship and rich and diverse cultural heritage saw enthusiastic participation of both Indian and Bahraini people."

Ambassador Srivastava paid tribute to the Indian community living and working in Bahrain.

"The Indian community in Bahrain proudly represents the rich and diverse Indian culture and heritage. They have been an integral part of journey of our bilateral relations," he said.

"Thanks to Bahrain's policies of harmony and peaceful coexistence, our community here has done well professionally and made significant contribution to the development of this beautiful Kingdom. I join the Indian community in thanking and expressing gratitude to the leadership, government and people of Bahrain for their warmth, care and affection."

The Government of India is committed to and is making continuous efforts to engage closely with Indian diaspora, to work for their welfare and make them an integral part of India's growth story.

Ambassador Srivastava looked with great enthusiasm and optimism at India's role in 2023.

"The year 2023 will be an important year for India, as it chairs both Group of Twenty (G20) Forum and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), taking global leadership roles and working for collective prosperity and growth," he said.

"Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi said that India's G20 presidency will be inclusive, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented. This has been reflected in the theme of India's G20 Presidency - Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, or 'One Earth. One Family. One Future."