President has a busy day in UAE

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Abu Dhabi, Nov 23 (IANS/WAM) Visiting Indian President Pratibha Patil had a busy day Tuesday in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as she visited an Indian school here and later met top business leaders at a meeting organised by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The president is on a nine-day, two-nation visit to the UAE and Syria, aimed at enhancing economic and energy ties with the region. Apart from Abu Dhabi in the UAE, she would travel to Dubai and Sharjah.

Patil visited the Abu Dhabi Indian School and met the students and teachers.

The school was started 35 years ago for the benefit of the Indian community in the UAE. It had only three teachers and 53 elementary level pupils at that time, but has now grown into a leading school, with over 450 staff and 5,000 students.

“The purpose of giving you education, is not merely to put you in a profession so that you live well, but it is an investment for the future. You are the future of India, and the leaders of tomorrow,” Patil told the students.

She said the quest for knowledge is unending, as research for new discoveries must continue to cope with changes and challenges of the contemporary age.

“This becomes all the more important as the world is moving forward rapidly and decisively into an era where societies and economies are incrementally based on knowledge. Our education system has the responsibility to adjust to the rapid changes, so that the youth are well prepared to meet the future with confidence,” she said.

Patil later attended a banquet hosted in her honour by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI).

Speaking on the occasion, the president hailed the UAE for making huge economic achievements, and congratulated Abu Dhabi for turning itself into one of the world’s most modern cities, thanks to the farsighted policies and visions of the UAE leadership.

She described India’s relations with the Gulf as “crucial, not only for geographical considerations or for meeting our (India’s) energy needs”, but for the Indian community which constitutes a major workforce in the region and contributes to their economic growth.

Mohammed Al-Rumaithi, ADCCI chairman, said: “The business relationship between India and the Gulf are long-standing and today the UAE considers the Republic of India as one of the most prominent and oldest trading partners.”

There are over five million Indians in the Gulf region, and according to official statistics, the number of Indian companies operating in the UAE has reached over 4,300.

UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan also called on the Indian president in the morning and both leaders discussed bilateral relations in various fields such as politics, economy, culture and science.

UAE Minister for Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi and Indian Ambassador to the UAE M.K. Lokesh also took part in the discussions.


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