President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday hailed India’s relationship with Jordan, and thanked the King Abdullah II for his “great humanitarian” policies as well as the help the Kingdom offered to India for evacuating its citizens from the conflict-hit countries in West Asia.
Addressing a gathering of the Indian community in Jordan here, the President said Indians have always been welcomed and made comfortable in the Kingdom. Indians from different walks of life, from businessmen to nuns, were present at the event.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Mukherjee met King Abdullah at his palace and held bilateral talks. “I had a very good productive discussion with the King,” said the President at the event.
“I recall this opportunity to thank the assistance offered to Indians by His Majesty’s government in Iraq in early 1990s, and again in 2014,” he said.
Mr. Mukherjee emphasised the importance of trade and cooperation between India and Jordan. Bilateral trade now stands at $2 billion. Unlike other major West Asian countries, most of India’s trade with Jordan is made up by non-oil products.
Call to investors
The President urged Indian investors to consider the avenues of opportunity provided by Jordan. Indian companies can look into pharmaceuticals and information technology, among other areas, he said.
Earlier in the day, India’s Ambassador to Amman Anil Trigunayat told the accompanying media delegation that more and more Indian companies are now showing interest in setting up business in Jordan. “A delegation from the Tata group is coming here. The Mahindras have also shown interest,” he said.
Manu, a local businessman who hails from Kerala, said the government was largely friendly to Indians. “The number of labourers is very few in Jordan compared to other West Asian nations. Still, they are treated well, and the business community is respected,” he told The Hindu .
Mr. Mukherjee also took note of the disastrous refugee situation in the region. According to Amnesty International, nearly 4 million Syrians were displaced by the ongoing civil war in Jordan’s neighbouring country. Most of these refugees are in Syria’s neighbourhood.
“I appreciate His Majesty’s great humanitarian assistance for the Syrian refugees,” Mr. Mukherjee said. Jordan has accepted nearly 1.4 million Syrian refugees.
The President emphasised the importance of harmonious co-existence of different communities, and thanked the King for his “tireless efforts to inculcate tolerance” among the people.