Modi hails all-women IT centre as 'glory of Saudi Arabia'

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Riyadh, April 3: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, April 3 described an all-women IT centre set up by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) here as the "glory of Saudi Arabia".

"I am meeting those professionals who are now the glory of Saudi Arabia," said Modi in the first engagement of the second and last day of his bilateral visit to Saudi Arabia.

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"This atmosphere I am witnessing here today has the potential to give a strong reply to the world."

Modi was welcomed with cheers by the employees as he entered the centre.

Some of them took selfies with the prime minister.

The centre, opened three years back, initially had 80 people. The number has now grown to over 1,000.

Eighty percent of the employees are local Saudi women.

It is also the first BPO to be opened by any company in the world in Saudi Arabia and the significance is more so because it is run entirely by women.

Over 60 percent of graduates in Saudi Arabia are women.

Saudi Arabia is the third and last leg of Modi's five-day foreign tour which also took him to Brussels and Washington, D.C.

In Brussels, he attended the 13th India-European Union (EU) Summit and held a bilateral meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, and then in Washington he participated in the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama.

This is the first prime ministerial visit from India to the oil-rich Saudi kingdom since the visit of Manmohan Singh in 2010.

Modi will be accorded a ceremonial welcome on Sunday afternoon at the Royal Court here by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who will also host a lunch in honour of the visiting prime minister.

This will be followed by delegation-level talks and the signing of agreements.

During the course of Modi's visit, ties between India and Saudi Arabia are expected to be further elevated from the current strategic partnership to a more broad-based one.

The prime minister will leave for India late Sunday, April 3 afternoon.

IANS

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