PM Modi emphasized on growing trade ties with Africa at ADB meeting

New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement on Friday in which it said that Prime Minister Narendra held bilateral meetings with the visiting leaders of the Africa nations of Benin; Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire on the sidelines of 52nd annual meeting of the African Development Bank in Gandhinagar on May 23.

The Prime Minister met President Patrice Talon of Benin; President Macky Sall of Senegal and Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan of Cote d’Ivoire.

The MEA also said that Ghana’s former president, John Dramani Mahama also called on the Prime Minister.

The statement said that India enjoys excellent bilateral relationship with all these countries and added that the Prime Minister during his meetings emphasized on the ever growing trade and economic relations with the respective countries.

Our current level of bilateral trade is nearly USD 1 billion each with Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal, about USD 3.6 billion with Ghana and USD 700 million with Benin.

He expressed gratitude for signing of International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement (ISAFA) by Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

Prime Minister Modi also requested Benin to consider early signing and ratification of the ISAFA. It may be mentioned that during IAFS-III India announced offering LoCs worth USD 10 billion for Africa, out of which, funds amounting to USD 2 billion have been earmarked for solar energy related projects.

Keeping in view the potential in these countries, Prime Minister Modi encouraged the leaders to consider more projects in this area.

All the visiting dignitaries profoundly thanked the Prime Minister and the Government of India for extending Lines of Credit (LoCs) for their developmental activities. Vice President Duncan of Senegal thanked India for its support for military hospitals modernisation project and Mahatma Gandhi IT & Biotechnology Park.

President Sall and former Ghanaian President Mahama appreciated India for funding their respective agriculture sector projects through Lines of Credit (LoC).

The Prime Minister assured the leaders of all the efforts towards implementation of projects in a timely manner and in accordance with priority assigned by respective countries.

The Prime Minister raised the issue of the arrest of two Indian nationals with President of Benin and requested the latter for a fair trial for them.

The leaders also discussed regional and international issues including United Nations Security Council reforms and expansion. Issues related to counter-terrorism and enhancing cooperation in different sectors were also discussed.

The meetings were held in an atmosphere of friendship and brotherhood that is a hallmark of India- Africa relations. (ANI)