President of India Pranab Mukherjee on the eve of the 68th Republic Day received Chief Guest Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces at Rashtrapati Bhavan and hosted a banquet in his honour on Wednesday evening.
Welcoming the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the President said the State visit is a reflection of the warm relations and intensifying co-operation between India and the UAE. “With our shared vision, we are committed to take our partnership to the highest strategic level as we realise its true potential. This State visit provides an opportunity to further enhance co-operation between India and UAE,” he said.
The President said the well-balanced bilateral trade turnover between India and UAE has been impressive. The bilateral trade during 2015-16 was US $ 49.729 billion. UAE is amongst India’s largest trade partners. To realise the potential for further growth, both countries have agreed to increase the bilateral trade by 60 % in next three years.
In his banquet speech, President Pranab Mukherjee said with India’s plans for rapid growth in the infrastructure sector, the liberalisation of foreign direct investment and as one of the fast growing economies in the world, India holds immense possibilities for investments.
The President reiterated India’s invitation to business houses of the United Arab Emirates to participate in our flagship projects like “Make in India”, “Digital India” and “Smart Cities” programmes. India looks forward to a robust partnership with UAE in our National Infrastructure Investment Fund.
The President reiterated the urgent need for responsible nations to continue collective efforts against the forces of extremism, terrorism and intolerance which attempt to weaken the very fabric of our societies. He said it is in the shared interest of both countries to work for peace and stability in both West Asia as well as South Asia.