Kovind holds talks with President Obiang in Equatorial Guinea

President Ram Nath Kovind, who arrived here on August 7, met President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo at the Presidential Palace where he was conferred with the Condecoracion, the highest honour accorded to a non-citizen by the government of Equatorial Guinea.
Thanking President Obiang for his warmth and hospitality Mr Kovind said President Obiang has played a key role in African affairs to promote stability in the continent. Under his leadership, the country has seen rapid growth and progress.
He congratulated President Obiang on Equatorial Guinea achieving the highest per capita GDP for any country in the African continent. He stated that India is ready to partner Equatorial Guinea which is diversifying its economy and reducing its dependence on oil and gas exports.
Subsequently, Mr Kovind led delegation-level talks between the two sides. He said that the two countries enjoyed warm and cordial relations. “India attaches the highest importance to its relationship with Equatorial Guinea. It is in that spirit that the government had decided to open an embassy in Equatorial Guinea. This will give a major boost to our relations,” he added.
The President said the economies of the two countries were complementary. Equatorial Guinea was endowed with hydrocarbons and mineral resources and India with human and financial capital and low-cost technical expertise. “The full potential of our bilateral engagement is far from realised. India looks forward to partnering with Equatorial Guinea in facilitating government-to-government development cooperation as well as business-to-business contacts,” he said.
Mr Kovind said during the India-Africa Forum Summit of 2015, India had announced concessional lines of credit of US$ 10 billion over five years for African countries. Urging Equatorial Guinea to avail of this facility, he said India would be happy to assist in developing project proposals in various sectors of the country’s economy.
He also attended a luncheon banquet hosted in his honour by President Obiang. In his remarks at the banquet, Mr Kovind said India and Equatorial Guinea have both emerged from the shadows of a colonial past and are committed to peace, prosperity and the well-being of our people.
Today, India and Equatorial Guinea are engaged in the task of ensuring accelerated growth and distributing its benefits to all sections of our societies. In this regard, Equatorial Guinea’s National Horizon 2020 programme has a vital role to play, he added.
Mr Kovind said India was keen to enhance its development cooperation partnership with Equatorial Guinea. It is in that spirit India has offered assistance to set up an Entrepreneurial Development Centre and an English Language Laboratory in Equatorial Guinea. It will also do its best to support Equatorial Guinea in agriculture, mining, health, telecommunications and Information Technology.
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