Krishna in Mozambique; boosting trade high on agenda

Krishna in Mozambique; boosting trade high on agenda

Krishna is the first External Affairs Minister to visit this mineral-rich African nation in over a decade. India is expected to sign an agreement to extend a line of credit of USD 25 million to Mozambique during talks Krishna will have with the country's leaders. "There are areas where we can work very closely for mutual benefit. The most important is the energy sector which is very high on our priority," he told reporters accompanying him here.

Terming Mozambique as one of the important partners in Africa, Krishna said his visit primarily was intended to strengthen the ties of friendship and partnership with this country. During his stay here, Krishna will hold discussions with President Armando Emilo Guebuza and Prime Minister Aires Bonifacia Ali. The visiting minister will hold deliberations with his counterpart Oldemiro Baloi when the entire gamut of the relationship will be discussed.

The two sides are also expected to explore possibilities in strengthening cooperation in agriculture and human resource development. "The trade between the two countries has much more potential than what we have been able to realise until now. So, it will be useful for our country to explore the possibilities of increasing trade related activities with Mozambique," Krishna said.

Krishna will also share India's concerns over piracy and security of sea lanes with the Mozambique leadership. India, Mozambique bilateral trade was USD 172.7 million in 2008 out of which exports from India amounted to USD 144.3 million. The exports from Mozambique to India were USD 28.4 million. Mozambique's principal exports are aluminium ignots, coal, electric power, natural gas, prawns, cotton, cashew nuts and wood.

India has provided assistance to Mozambique in its development through five Lines of Credit worth total amount of USD 115 million for various projects like rural electrification, water management and information technology. Krishna arrived in Maputo after a successful two-day visit to Mauritius where India agreed to provide an Offshore Patrol Vessel, share real-time inputs on coastal hazards and ocean state information. He also signed pacts to help Mauritius in stepping up cyber security and another one to set up a Chair in a university for Sanskrit studies.