Indian President Pratibha Patil arrives in Abu Dhabi

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Gulf News

Abu Dhabi, 22 November 2010: Indian President Pratibha Patil  arrived on Sunday in the UAE capital on a five-day official visit. Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade, and M.K. Lokesh, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, received Patil at the airport along with senior UAE officials.

Interview with Indian President

Patil is staying at the Intercontinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi. She is accompanied by a delegation of 52 senior Indian businesspeople and a media contingent of 25 journalists.

Abu Dhabi hopes to use the visit to enhance cooperation with India in the field of technology, especially information technology, a senior official of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) told Gulf News on Sunday.

"India has great potential in technology and human resources at a world class level and the UAE is already utilising them; Patil’s visit can enhance such cooperation," Khalfan Saeed Al Kaabi, the First Vice Chairman of ADCCI, said in an interview.

Patil will attend a business meeting organised by ADCCI at Emirates Palace hotel on Tuesday.



In 2009-10, trade between India and the UAE stood at $43 billion which made them the largest trading partners. Exports from India were worth $24 billion and imports from the UAE were worth $19 billion. These figures exclude trade in oil.

Al Kaabi said, "About the importance of the relations between both countries … I cannot trace back the relations … because it is centuries old."

The interaction with the Indian business delegation can enhance the communication between both the countries. "The chamber will facilitate such communication and support the business interaction between both countries," the official said.

As an investment destination, India will continue to be a safe and attractive country, he said.

Asked about any obstacles for trade with India, he said: "As a businessman, I have 30 years of business relations with India and I never felt any obstacles; they understand us very well and so we do." About the prospect of any sort of free trade agreements between both countries, Al Kaabi said he needed more study to comments about the need of such steps.

Yousuf Ali M.A., a member of the board of directors of ADCCI, said: "I am sure the high level trade delegation accompanying the president will surely be impressed by the excellent business friendly environment prevailing here in the UAE."

The local business community can also look forward to tapping the huge market of India with many potential areas of cooperation and investments, he said.


- Sunday: At 8pm, arrival in Abu Dhabi

- Monday morning: Official meetings

- 7pm: Addresses the Indian community at the Indian Social and Cultural Centre (ISC)

-  Tuesday, 10am: Interaction with pupils at Abu Dhabi Indian School

- 11am: Inauguration of Indian Islamic Centre, Abu Dhabi

- 12 noon: Business meeting by Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Emirates Palace hotel

-  7pm: Launch Indian Workers’ Resource Centre at India Club, Dubai, during a reception for the Indian community hosted by M.K. Lokesh, Indian Ambassador to the UAE

- Wednesday: Official meetings in Dubai in the morning

-  6.15pm: Visit to Dubai Men’s College in Dubai Academic City

-  Thursday, 10:30am: Inauguration of Indian Trade Exhibition Centre in Sharjah.

- 12.15pm: Business meeting with Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.



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