India, Cote D Ivoire ink pact to re-establish Exim Bank headquarters

India, Cote D Ivoire ink pact to re-establish Exim Bank headquarters

Submitted by alvin on Wed, 2016-06-15 11:29 Abidjan (Cote D Ivoire): India and Cote D Ivoire have inked an agreement to re-establish the headquarters of the Exim Bank in Abidjan after a gap of nearly two decades.The agreement was inked in the presence of the Presidents of India and Cote D Ivoire -- Pranab Mukherjee and Alassane Ouattara.Briefing Indian media about President Mukherjee's engagements in Abidjan on Tuesday afternoon, Secretary (Economic Relations) Amar Sinha said that apart from the traditional and warm ceremonial welcome accorded to the Indian Head of State on his first visit to this country, the Ivory Coast delegation present at the bilateral engagement expressed his gratefulness over India's role in ensuring a stable and democratic administration in the West African nation.President Mukherjee during his interaction with President Ouattara said that the Ivory Coast is seen by India as a role model for democracy and political stability.Mr. Sinha told media persons that other than this, no other political issue was raised or talked about. He, however, did mention that the Indian president did raise the issue of the need for reforming the United Nations and in particular the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).President Mukherjee, he said, told President Ouattara that 70 years is just too long a period for reforms not to take place within the UN, especially when global geopolitics has undergone massive change.The Cote D Ivoire President said that the African Union is engaged in developing a consensus on this issue of UN reforms, while President Mukherjee reiterated that "reforms that come late result in their grace being lost."According to Mr. Sinha, the main talking point of Tuesday's discussions was the fact that Cote D Ivoire is the fastest growing economy among African states, averaging nine to ten percent GDP growth in the last four to five years, and added that this West African state could be declared an emerging economy by 2020.He said that the Cote D Ivoire government is very keen to see the Indian private sector increase its engagement and investments in fields like agro-industries, mining and chocolates.Sinha also said that trade relations between the two countries are looking up and are currently pegged at around USD 841 million. He said that within the next year or two, he expected trade to be valued at a billion dollars, and added that investments too are looking up.A mention was also made about some other ongoing projects set up with Indian assistance such as the Mahatma Gandhi Information Technology and Bio-Tech Park located 40 kilometers outside of Abidjan.Another was the proposed extension of a Line of Credit for electricity grid connectivity between Mali and Cote D Ivoire.Security and the issue of terrorism also featured during the bilateral talks between the two sides, with President Mukherjee lauding the security apparatus in place in Cote D Ivoire.Both sides agreed that terrorism is a global menace and that there could be no distinction between a good terrorist and a bad terrorist. The Ivorian side said that though it was not affected by terrorism, it is not complacent about the possibility of this menace arising in its geographical space, and therefore, taking suitable measures to prevent such an occurrence.Press Secretary Venu Rajamony said that President Mukherjee receiving Cote D Ivoire's National Grand Croix award was a singularly huge first time honour for an Indian Head of State.The Ivorian delegation also made a request to the Indian side to extend support for its application for non-permanent membership of the UNSC, which the latter said that it would look into.On the issue of the setting up of a Joint Commission, Sinha said that such body was already in existence, and that he expected its first follow-up meeting to take place within the next six months. (ANI)