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PM Modi conferred UAE's highest civilian honour

A commemorative stamp of Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary was also released

Saturday August 24, 2019 10:34 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

UAE Honour for Modi

Abu Dhabi: The UAE honoured visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with its highest civilian honour, the "Order of Zayed", on Saturday.

The award was conferred to the Prime Minister by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Presidential Palace here.

A commemorative stamp of Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary was also released in the presence of government officials and Indian businesspersons, the Khaleej Times reported.

Earlier during an interview with the Khaleej Times, Modi said: "I feel very honoured to receive the United Arab Emirates' highest civil honour, the Order of Zayed. It is a testimony to our growing partnership and also an honour for the entire Indian nation of 1.3 billion people."

Modi also launched the RuPay Card, an Indian indigenous equivalent of Mastercard or Visa, here earlier in the day and bought 1 kg of laddoo using the card.

The UAE is the first country in the Middle East where the RuPay card has been launched.

Modi on India UAE Relations

Modi said strengthening the close bilateral relationship had been "one of the most important foreign policy priorities" of his government. "I am happy that the leadership of the UAE attaches similar importance to relations with India... For this relationship, even the sky is not the limit," he told Khaleej Times.

He also said that being conferred the Order of Zayed was a "testimony to our growing partnership" and "an honour for the entire Indian nation of 1.3 billion people".

Asked if the personal connect with the UAE leadership had helped the relationship prosper, he said: "The Crown Prince and I regard each other as brothers. We have developed enormous goodwill and mutual respect. I believe that the excellent rapport between the two of us is an important driving force in realising the true potential of our relationship."

"As a result, India-UAE bilateral relations have grown in the last four years as never before. The excellent cooperation we receive from the leadership, has enabled us to transform the relationship not only in energy and people-to-people contact, but in trade, investments, defence, food and security cooperation", he said.

UAE Investment in India

On trade and investments, he said the UAE's "commitment to invest $75 billion in India is a game changer. There has been a significant increase in flow of investments from the UAE during the last few years in areas ranging from ports, infrastructure and housing. But ours is not a relationship dominated by statistics. It is a strategic partnership based on shared vision and objectives."

"The vision for the next five years is to have investment-led growth. We are targeting around $1.5 trillion worth of investments in the coming five years. To achieve this vision, the government is working on policies to promote inflows from domestic as well as foreign sources."

"We have set our sights on becoming a $5 trillion economy in the next five years. The UAE is diversifying its economy, going beyond its traditional sectors of strength. Together, we have the vision and roadmap as well as size, momentum and resources to achieve prosperity. It is a win-win for both, and also for the world. Our economies can complement each other using growing synergies and the presence of millions of Indians in the UAE," he said.

Modi, who is on a tri-nation tour to France, the UAE and Bahrain, reached Abu Dhabi on Friday from Paris. From Abu Dhabi, he will visit Bahrain before returning to France for the G7 summit.

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