Abu Dhabi: The visiting Chief Minister of the South Indian State of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan had official meetings with three top UAE officials on Wednesday.
Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, received the Chief Minister and his delegation.
“It was a courtesy call to thank the UAE leaders for their generous support extended to Kerala and its people over the years, especially after the devastating floods that hit the state last year,” John Brittas, media adviser to the chief minister told Gulf News.
Shaikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, also received Pinarayi Vijayan.
The chief minister and his delegation presented details of investment potential in the state, especially in the infrastructure sector, Brittas said. Vijayan also invited Shaikh Hamed to visit Kerala.
The chief minister also visited Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and CEO of Adnoc (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) Group.
According to Brittas, Vijayan and his delegation presented a proposal to seek Adnoc’s investments in a proposed petrochemical complex in Kochi in Kerala.
The state government has already earmarked 380 acres of land for the proposed project.
“The delegation received an encouraging response from Dr Al Jaber,” Brittas said.
Adnoc had no comment on the meeting.
An Adnoc spokesman said: “India is a strategic and important market for us. We always look for commercial opportunities to expand our relationship and increase our market share with India.”
Brittas said all top UAE officials appreciated the UAE’s strong bonds with India, and especially Kerala, during the meetings.
Vijayan was accompanied by Tom Jose, state chief secretary; Dr K Ellangovan, principal secretary of state industries department; Navdeep Singh Suri, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE; M.A. Yousuf Ali, vice-chairman of Norka-Roots, a public sector undertaking under Non-Resident Keralites’ Affairs Department (Norka).
He had a dinner meeting with Emirati business leaders and decision makers in the capital on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday morning, Brittas said, the chief minister would fly to Fujairah where His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Mohammad Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah will host a luncheon for him.
In the evening, Vijayan will inaugurate the ‘Come on Kerala Business Conclave’ at Sharjah Expo Centre and interact with Indian business leaders.
The chief minister will attend the first Middle East Regional Conference of the Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS) or World Kerala Assembly, a global platform constituted by the government for more than 3.5 million NRKs across the world.
The two-day conference will be held in Dubai’s Etisalat Academy on Friday and Saturday. The chief minister will address almost 15,000 members of the one million-strong Malayali community in the UAE during a cultural festival as part of the event on Friday.
This is the third UAE visit of Vijayan since he assumed office in 2016 as Kerala Chief Minister.