Dubai: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has met Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in Dubai and discussed ways of boosting bilateral trade and economic cooperation. The Vice-President met Chandy on Thursday at the headquarters of Dubai Executive Council at Emirates Towers. Shaikh Mohammed hailed the historic relations between the people of the two friendly countries, highlighting the role the Indian community and workforce play in UAE's development.
The two sides also discussed India-UAE ties and ways of boosting economic, investment and trade cooperation between the two countries, a statement released by UAE's official news agency WAM said. In a reciprocal gesture of sorts, Chandy too hailed the expertise that Dubai offers to these vital sectors in his state with a population of about 32 million people, the statement said. Chandy also invited the vice president to the inauguration of SmartCity Kochi project which is expected to open in a year and said that Shaikh Mohammad has responded to the invitation positively, the Gulf News reported.
The talks also discussed cooperation between Dubai and Kerala in various fields, particularly in the sectors of ports and information. Chandy was accompanied by a number of officials and Indian ambassador to the UAE MK Lokesh. Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation, also attended the meeting.
Later in Sharjah, Chandy interacted with expatriates from Kerala at the Indian Association in Sharjah. The chief minister of Kerala will officially inaugurate the Global Meet of Overseas Indian Cultural Congress at Indian Social and Cultural Centre in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.