India, Guinea Bissau discuss trade, development partnership

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The talks were held during Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (Economic Relations) Rahul Chhabra’s visit to Guinea Bissau (GB) on July 5-6…reports Asian Lite News.

Reviewing the entire gamut of bilateral, regional, and international issues of mutual interest, India and Guinea Bissau recently held delegation-level discussions and took stock of bilateral trade and investment.

They also discussed development partnership, capacity building and people to people ties among others.

The talks were held during the Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (Economic Relations) Rahul Chhabra’s visit to Guinea Bissau (GB) on July 5-6.

He was accompanied by Joint Secretary (C&WA) on what was the first-ever bilateral visit from the Indian side, said a statement of the MEA.

Secretary (Economic Relations) Chhabra held delegation-level discussions with Secretary of State for International Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Udé Fati, and interacted with prominent members of the Indian community.

During the delegation level discussions, both sides undertook a comprehensive review of the entire gamut of bilateral, regional, and international issues of mutual interest.

Both sides took stock of exchanges of bilateral visits, holding of Joint Commission and FOC meetings, bilateral trade & investment, development partnership, capacity building, people to people to linkages, pending MOUs including ISA, eVBAB, and visa free travel for diplomatic and official passport holders, opening of resident missions, regional and global issues.

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Also discussed was capacity building training in cashewnuts processing, Digital India program, Co-Win platform and Covaxin to fight Covid-19, development of ports, mining (bauxite, phosphates), agriculture and food processing in Guinea Bissau.

Both sides noted with appreciation their cooperation on COVID-19 related issues including supply of medicines and made in India vaccines under COVAX initiative. GB appreciated for gifting 1000 MTs of rice.

The talks were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere. Both sides agreed to exchange bilateral visits at regular intervals, the MEA statement said.

Secretary (Economic Relations) Chhabra also called on President Umaro Sissoco Embaló and Deputy Prime Minister Soares Sambú.

Bilateral relations between India and Guinea Bissau are warm and friendly and are poised to grow in the times ahead.

The two countries collaborate closely in multilateral and regional fora like IBSA, TEAM-9 (Techno-Economic Approach for Africa-India Movement), IAFS (India-Africa Forum Summit), UN etc.

The present bilateral trade of US$ 135 million is below potential and there is considerable scope for higher growth.

India imports close to 90% of Guinea Bissau’s raw cashew nuts and is the biggest export partner of Guinea Bissau.

Both sides noted to expand trade basket, organization of business delegations and road shows, both in-person, and virtual platforms.

India has extended developmental assistance to GB worth over US$ 25 million under lines of credit. India continues to extend capacity-building support with scholarships, skill development training under ITEC.

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