Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 23 September 2019

Four highlights of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Abu Dhabi

Indian Prime Minister says relations between two countries are best they have ever been

The National takes a look at some of the highlights from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Abu Dhabi.

Ties between India and UAE are the “best they have ever been”

UAE-India relations are at their “best-ever” according to the Indian PM who predicted the UAE would have a key role in helping his country reach a $5 trillion economy by the year 2025, through a “mutually-beneficial partnership”.

He highlighted how renewable energy, food, ports, airports, defence and manufacturing would play vital roles in reaching that target.

"The UAE is our third largest trade partner with about US$60 billion bilateral trade in 2018-19,” he said, in an interview with state news agency WAM.

“Many of our companies are investing here in the UAE. Both countries are working closely and vigorously to implement the commitment of US$75 billion investment by UAE in India.

"I feel immensely proud of conveying that India-UAE relations are at their best ever.”

Humbled at receiving the UAE’s highest honour

Mr Modi said he was deeply humbled at receiving the Order of Zayed at a ceremony in the Presidential Palace on Saturday afternoon.

Mohamed Bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, presented the Indian Prime Minister with the country’s highest honour.

Mr Modi tweeted that the award was not a personal honour, but one that represented a recognition of India’s cultural ethos and people.

The RuPay card is launched in the UAE

Mr Modi became the first person to use a RuPay card in the UAE when he bought a kilo of sweets at the Emirates Palace on Saturday morning.

The Indian card payment system was introduced as an equivalent to Mastercard and Visa. It is popular for offering lower interest rates and fees than other cards and is used by 500 million people in India.

The new card system can be used at more than 100,000 terminals across the UAE according to Navdeep Suri, Indian ambassador to the UAE, who was speaking at the UAE launch of RuPay at Emirates Palace.

More than half of India’s one billion credit and debit cards now go through the RuPay system.

The name comes from a blend of ‘rupee’ and ‘payment’ and it has been active in India for four years.

As close as brothers

Mr Modi said that he and Sheikh Mohamed regard each other as “brothers”.

He made his comments in an interview with The Khaleej Times.

“We have developed enormous goodwill and mutual respect,” he said.

“I believe that the excellent rapport between the two of us is an important driving force in realising the true potential of our relationship.”

Updated: August 26, 2019 03:27 AM

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