PM Modi discusses ties with UAE, unveils RuPay card
The prime minister -- who is on a three-nation tour to France, UAE and Bahrain -- also launched the RuPay card in Abu Dhabi, making UAE the first country in the Middle East to initiate the Indian system of electronic payment.Updated: Aug 24, 2019 23:29 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held bilateral talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on ways to improve trade and cultural ties between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The prime minister -- who is on a three-nation tour to France, UAE and Bahrain -- also launched the RuPay card in Abu Dhabi, making UAE the first country in the Middle East to initiate the Indian system of electronic payment.
The RuPay card scheme was launched in 2012 in line with the Reserve Bank of India’s vision to have a domestic, open and multilateral system of payments. RuPay facilitates electronic payment at all Indian banks and financial institutions.
India had previously launched the RuPay card in Singapore and Bhutan.
Watch | PM Modi conferred with UAE’s highest civilian award by Crown Prince
Welcoming the prime minister on Saturday, the Crown Prince thanked his “brother” for visiting “his second home”. Modi also tweeted that he had “an excellent meeting” with Nahyan, adding that the Crown Prince’s “personal commitment” to strengthening bilateral relations with India was “very strong”.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said there was a “new energy” in the relationship between the two nations. He quoted the Crown Prince as saying, “I am so grateful that my brother is coming to his second home.”
With annual bilateral trade of about $60 billion, UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner and the fourth-largest exporter of crude oil for India.
In an interview with the Middle Eastern country’s official news agency, WAM, Modi said India had found a “valuable partner” in the UAE to achieve its ambitious dream of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25. He added that UAE-India relations are “at their best ever” and that investments in key sectors in India were growing.
PM Modi was also presented the UAE’s highest civilian award, Order of Zayed, as a mark of appreciation for his efforts to boost bilateral ties between the two nations.
The award has earlier been bestowed on several world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Queen Elizabeth II and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Modi thanked the UAE government for the honour and dedicated it to the skills and abilities of 1.3 billion Indians. “I am humbled to get the ‘Order of Zayed’ a while ago. This award is not for an individual but for the spirit of Indian culture and is dedicated to the skills and abilities of 1.3 billion Indians. I thank the Government of the United Arab Emirates for this honour,” he tweeted.
Ahead of Modi’s visit to the UAE, the ministry of external affairs had said in a statement the award in the name of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of UAE, “acquires special significance as it was awarded to Prime Minister Modi in the year of the birth centenary of Sheikh Zayed”.
India and the UAE enjoy warm, close and multi-faceted relations underpinned by cultural, religious and economic linkages, which, during the prime minister’s previous visit to the UAE in August 2015, stood elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership, the statement read.
The UAE, in April, had announced its decision to confer the country’s highest civilian award on PM Modi.
Modi later on Saturday reached Bahrain for the third leg of his three-nation tour, becoming the first Indian prime minister to visit the country. He held talks with his Bahraini counterpart Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa after delegation-level talks concluded with the exchange of Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) in the areas of culture, space and technology.
First Published: Aug 24, 2019 23:29 IST