news.outlookindia.com | India Wants to Deepen Ties with Yemen: New Envoy The current bilateral relations between India and Yemen are strong and there is great scope for strengthening the ties further, India's new Ambassador to Yemen Ausaf Sayeed said here tonight. "The current relations are very strong as they are based on long civilisational contacts which is more than 100 years old. We have nearly 200,000 Yemenis of Indian origin in Yemen. Also, there are 100,000 Indians of Yemeni origin. In the contemporary context, we have very strong trade relations. We have a trade of more than USD 2 billion," he told PTI. The trade ties are mainly in the hydrocarbons and fertilisers sectors and companies like Nagarjuna Fertilisers, NTPC and TCIL are keen to make investments in Yemen, he said. The bilateral relations can be further strengthened, especially in the economic domain, he said. Sayeed, who hails from Hyderabad, was facilitated here tonight on his new posting. "We are looking forward to the visit of President of Yemen. Such high-level visits would pave the way for further cooperation between the two countries." "This is one thrust. Another is increasing the capacity building in Yemen in terms of providing opportunities for training and education here. We have offered about 40 scholarships to Yemen," Sayeed said. The visit of Yemen's President has been accepted in principle and the dates have to be worked out, he said. From India, the then Union Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor visited Yemen and the this was followed by the visit of top External Affairs Ministry officials, Sayeed said. To a query, he said Yemen has offered 11 oil blocks to foreign companies. Of these, seven are given to Indian firms - three to Reliance and four to GPCL, a Gujarat-based company. There are also going to be opportunities in infrastructure, agriculture and IT sectors, Sayeed said. The Hyderabad-based Nagarjuna Fertilisers and Chemicals is planning to set up a plant in Yemen, a company official said at the felicitation function. Rehman, a former TRS leader who participated in the function, appealed to Sayeed to help set up a Consulate of Yemen in Hyderabad in view of the good presence of people of Yemeni-origin in the city. Responding to the request, Sayeed said it is a decision to be taken by the Yemen Government which is based on factors like number of people settled in the city. Mumbai is also being considered to set up the Consulate.