INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Bahrain is set to redefine bilateral relations and create a new era of prosperity.
Mr Modi will arrive in Bahrain today, becoming the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the kingdom and setting a new milestone in the long-standing friendly relations between the two countries.
His two-day state visit will include meetings with His Majesty King Hamad, His Royal Highness Prime
Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, along with other officials.
“This would be the first ever Prime Ministerial visit from India to the Kingdom,” said Mr Modi.
“I am confident that this visit would further deepen our relationship across the sectors.
“I look forward to discussing with His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa ways to further boost our bilateral relations and share views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.”
During last week’s Cabinet meeting, the Premier stressed the importance of Mr Modi’s visit in bolstering deep-rooted ties between the two countries and expanding co-operation at all levels.
The Indian diaspora in Bahrain are also expected to gather in their tens of thousands at Bahrain National Stadium tonight to welcome Mr Modi, who will deliver a public address.
“I would also take the opportunity to interact with the Indian diaspora,” said Mr Modi.
Mr Modi will also launch the renovation of the Shreenathji temple in Manama in the wake of Janmashtami, an annual festival that celebrates the birth of Hindu deity Krishna.
Businessmen and the Indian community in Bahrain have been preparing for the high-profile visit for weeks, with business ties expecting a boost as key agreements will be signed.
Indian Ambassador Alok Kumar Sinha said the monumental visit will further drive trade and investment.
“There is an overwhelming aspiration among the Indian diaspora to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bahrain,” said Mr Sinha.
“The Indian community is eagerly looking forward to this first-ever state visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Bahrain.”
Trade between India and Bahrain has been on the rise for the last few years, reaching about $1.3 billion in 2018-2019.
There are over 350,000 Indian nationals in Bahrain, comprising the largest expatriate community.
Latest data shows there are 23 branches of prominent Indian banks and companies registered in Bahrain, as well as 3,181 Indian joint venture companies.
His Majesty made his first state visit to India in February 2014 while the Crown Prince visited India in 2007, 2012 and 2013.