Wednesday June 19, 2019

PM Modi reaches Saudi Arabia, focus on trade agreements

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Abu Dhabi (UAE): Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the Shiekh Zayed Grand Mosque, at Abu Dhabi, UAE on Aug 16, 2015. Photo: IANS/

Riyadh: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia on Sunday is part of a broader diplomatic offensive to put pressure on arch rival Pakistan by forging ties with some of Islamabad’s closest allies, government officials have said, according to news agency Reuters.

The PM is expected to sign trade agreements, including contracts to secure investment for infrastructure projects, and offer security and military cooperation, such as training and joint exercises, they said.

The visit comes just months after he travelled to another major Pakistan ally, the United Arab Emirates, and signed a security cooperation agreement that includes regular meetings between top security advisers.

“It’s simple. We have to do everything to deal with Pakistan – use economics, strategy and emotional ties to win the hearts of Islamabad’s friends,” said Ram Madhav, General Secretary of the ruling BJP.

New Delhi has been frustrated that often its ties with countries have been coloured by concerns about its relationship with Pakistan. One foreign ministry official (unnamed by Reuters) said the Saudis tended to bring up Pakistan during discussions with India.

Government officials described the PM’s diplomatic push as an effort to “de-hyphenate” India from Pakistan, especially as Delhi tries to play a bigger geopolitical role in Asia to counter China’s influence.

Until now, India’s relationship with Saudi Arabia has been driven primarily by trade and the Indian diaspora in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is India’s top energy supplier and home to more than 3.5 million Indian expatriates and labour reforms would also be key talking points.

Still, there are limits to what the PM can hope to achieve. The relationship between Pakistan and the Saudis goes back decades, based in their shared Sunni Muslim heritage.

Saudi Arabia has long been a source of financial aid for Islamabad. In 2014, the Saudis gave Pakistan $1.5 billion as a “gift” to shore up its foreign reserves.

But Indian officials said the timing was right for PM Modi’s visit, as relations between Riyadh and Islamabad enter a rough patch.

Pakistan declined to provide ships, aircraft and troops to the Saudi-led fight to halt Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen last year. It has also sought to avoid taking sides in the escalating dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

“Pakistan knows that relations with Saudi have come to a low. That doesn’t mean that India can fill that gap,” said Zahid Hussain, a former newspaper editor in Pakistan. “But certainly this is part of Modi’s diplomatic offensive in the region.”

Credits: NDTV

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OPPO Grabs the Position of 3rd Most Trusted Smartphone Brand in India

In addition, while Dell has emerged as the most trusted brand in India this year, OPPO has also secured an overall 28th rank in TRA’s Brand Trust Report, 2019

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Innovation, OPPO Reno 10x Zoom
The pop-up selfie mechanism itself is, however, not new. Wikimedia Commons

Chinese smartphone player OPPO on Tuesday announced that the brand has secured third spot in the most trusted smartphone brand in India, according to a report by Mumbai-based analytics firm Trust Research Advisory (TRA).

According to TRA’s Brand Trust Report 2019, OPPO climbed up seven ranks to secure this year’s third spot in the top 10 smartphone brands in India.

Incorporating advanced technologies like motorised camera, 10X Hybrid Zoom, fast charging, in-display fingerprint scanner and bezel-less display even in the budget segment, smartphones have helped the company retain its spot in the top brands, the company said in a statement.

With one of its biggest Research and Development centres in Hyderabad, OPPO plans to intensify its business in India.

Innovation, OPPO Reno 10x Zoom
Chinese handset maker OPPO, which has been known to be experimental with its smartphone designs has just launched its flagship smartphone Reno 10x Zoom. Wikimedia Commons

The company also houses its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Greater Noida.

In addition, while Dell has emerged as the most trusted brand in India this year, OPPO has also secured an overall 28th rank in TRA’s Brand Trust Report, 2019.

Also Read- Laptops from Huawei Re-appear on Microsoft Store

OPPO was recently recognised as the most-preferred innovative handset brand in the premium segment, as per an independent study conducted by the analyst firm CyberMedia Research (CMR), the company added. (IANS)