Friday December 14, 2018

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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Panasonic Unveils Mobile Computing Devices in India

The energy efficient device is built on the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform to ensure long-term Android support

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Panasonic launches mobile computing devices in India. Flickr

Japanese electronics major Panasonic on Thursday launched TOUGHBOOK FZ T1 and L1 mobile computing devices in India.

The TOUGHBOOK FZ T1 is durable, compact and comes with a 5-inch screen and runs Android 8.1 Oreo OS.

The device delivers fast, easy barcode scanning with an integrated barcode reader, the company said in a statement.

It is also designed with MIL-STD-810G standards and comes with IP66/68 rating.

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Panasonic. IANS

“Our newest offering under the product category further assists consumers with their enterprise based working environment by robustly assisting them to augment their efficiency levels through the TOUGHBOOK series,” said Vijay Wadhwan, Business Head System and Solution Business, Panasonic India.

Also Read- Microsoft Working to Introduce a Consumer Version of Microsoft 365 Bundle

The FZ-L1 offers professional-grade capabilities and reliability to workers who rely on accessing information on-the-go.

The energy efficient device is built on the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform to ensure long-term Android support. (IANS)