Dubai – MENA Herald: Sergio Mattarella, the President of Italy, has decreed that the elite Order of the Star of Italy – Commander Class be given to H.E. Eng. Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Economic Affairs, in recognition of his outstanding efforts to foster economic cooperation between the business communities of Italy and the UAE.
The Order of the Star of Italy is Italy’s highest medal of honor. It is awarded only by presidential decree and recognizes foreign personalities for enriching Italy’s relations with the international community at the political, economic and social levels.
The Undersecretary was officially conferred the order of merit during a special ceremony organized by the Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to the UAE, Liborio Stellino, at his residence in Abu Dhabi. The event was attended by the ambassador’s wife, distinguished investors and business figures, and members of Italy’s diplomatic corps.
Also present were H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI); H.E. Sultan bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman of the Sharjah Economic Development Department; H.E. Hamad Bu Amim, Director General of DCCI; H.E. Humaid Bin Butti, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for the Corporate Sector and Consumer Protection; H.E. Dr. Saeed Al Ghafli, General Director of Emirates Identity Authority; H.E. Otaiba Saeed Al Otaiba, Chairman of Al Otaiba Group and member of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and industry; and H.E. Yahya Lootah, Board Member of DCCI.
The Italian ambassador said that H.E. Eng. Al Shehhi was truly worthy of the distinction given his effective role in facilitating joint economic committee meetings and encouraging bilateral economic visits between the two countries. He also commended the Undersecretary for organizing delegations to Expo Milano 2015 and for actively participating in several initiatives which have further strengthened the commercial ties of Italy and the UAE and opened up numerous mutually beneficial investment opportunities.
H.E. Ambassador Stellino personally awarded H.E. Eng. Al Shehhi the medal and also presented a certificate of appreciation, wishing the Undersecretary continued success and promising to engage in more joint efforts to further cement the bonds between the two friendly countries.
H.E. Eng. Al Shehhi said: “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to H.H. the President of Italy and the Italian Government for bestowing me with such a great honor. I would also like to thank H.E. Liborio Stellino for his excellent work in promoting highly productive and cooperative relations between Italy and the UAE.”
The Undersecretary noted that the long and amicable ties between the UAE and Italy have resulted in impressive bilateral economic and commercial partnerships. He added that private sector activities in the two countries have been growing significantly, creating highly attractive investment environments. He also referred to a number of bilateral agreements which have set incentive frameworks to further enhance economic cooperation.
The Ministry of Economy has registered 92 Italian companies along with 478 commercial agencies and 2,040 trademarks in the UAE. Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at USD 6.14 billion in 2015, with USD 1.6 billion coming from inter- free zone trade.
The Order of the Star of Italy was inaugurated by the first President of Italy, Enrico Di Nicola, in 1941, to honor the outstanding efforts of personalities from outside of Italy for their role in rebuilding the country after World War II. It was known then as the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity until 2011, when it was renamed as the Star of Italy. It includes five honor classes, starting from Knight up to Knight Grand Cross.