President Mukherjee departs Accra For Abidjan

Accra (Ghana), June 14 (IANS) Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday left Accra after a three-day visit for Cote d’Ivoire capital Abidjan, to begin the second leg of his three-nation African tour that will also take him to Namibia.

This will be the first ever high-level visit from India since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The Cote d’Ivoire visit which is at the invitation of the Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara has has become important because of the growing trade between India and Cote d’Ivoire.

Official figures say bilateral trade between India and Cote d’Ivoire has grown from$344.99 million in 2010-11 to A$841.85 million in last year.

In addition, India, in the rubric of South-South Cooperation, has extended lines of credit amounting to $156.3 million to the Government of Cote d’Ivoire for developmental projects in diverse fields such as public transportation, rural electrification, rice self-sufficiency, cashew nut processing, vegetable oil processing, and coconut fibre processing.

On arrival in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan, President Mukherjee is expected to be received by President Ouattara. Both are expected to have a one-to-one meeting followed by delegation level talks.

President Mukherjee is to be honoured with the National Order of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, the highest Order of the country and would also be handed the Key to the city of Abidjan.

An agreement to open then EXIM Bank Representative/Regional in Abidjan would be handed over in presence of both the Presidents and they would later address a Joint Business Forum and also interact with the Indian community.

Mukherjee will depart for Namibia on June 15 for the next leg of his tour.

(Francis Kokutse can be reached at fkokutse@gmail.com)

–IANS

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