Ivory Coast looks to India for investment

RSTV Bureau
Abidjan : Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, right, shakes hands with an unidentified official, left, as Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, second right, looks on at the airport in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee is on the second leg of his three nations tour of African countries including Ghana, Ivory Coast and Namibia. AP/PTI

Abidjan : Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, right, shakes hands with an unidentified official, left, as Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, second right, looks on at the airport in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee is on the second leg of his three nations tour of African countries including Ghana, Ivory Coast and Namibia. AP/PTI

As part of Africa Outreach, India has signed several pacts with Cote D’Ivoirie to boost ties and trade between the two countries.

President Pranab Mukherjee, who is on a two-day trip to the West African country, met Alassane Ouattara, the President of Cote D’Ivoirie on Wednesday.

President Ouattara expressed interest in Indian private sector investment during his talks.

Cote D’Ivoirie, which is one of the world’s largest cocoa producing nations, sought investment for cocoa processing.

“Ivory Coast Government is very keen to get Indian private sector on board…Another sector he was proudly mentioning was that of Chocolates. They produce cocoa. He says that Indian private sector could be useful as they export everything,” Secretary (Economic Relations) Amar Sinha said while giving details of the talks between the two leaders.

Trade between India and Cote D’Ivoirie, which is also called Ivory Coast, is estimated to have touched USD one billion by March end earlier this year. The figure stood at USD 841 million in January 2016. Cote D’Ivoirie is the biggest producer and exporter of cashew nuts to India.

In another development, it was agreed that Exim Bank, which is headquartered in Mumbai, will re-open its office in Cote D’Ivoirie. The bank was shifted to Sudan in 1992 because of political turmoil in the country.

President Mukherjee also pushed for reforms in the United Nations Security Council, where India looks to be a permanent member in the expanded world body.

The visit by President Mukherjee is a maiden visit by an Indian President to “home of hospitality” Cote D’Ivoirie and is seen as India’s outreach to Africa.

This is the second leg of President Mukherjee’s three-nation tour. His next stop will be Namibia.

Mukherjee’s visit comes close on the heels of Vice President Md. Hamid Ansari’s trip of Morocco and Tunisia.

(With inputs from PTI)