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India-Liberia Relations

 

 

LIBERIA

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BILATERAL BRIEF

 

POLITICAL:

India-Liberia relations, going back over six decades, are warm and friendly. Liberia has concurrent accreditation of Ambassador of India to Cote d’Ivoire with residence in Abidjan. Liberia too does not have a resident Mission in New Delhi.

 

VISITS:

2.       President of Liberia, H.E. Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize 2012 for Peace, Disarmament and Development by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust. President Sirleaf became the first Head of State from Liberia to visit India on a State Visit in September 2013. The only earlier visit was by President Samuel K Doe to attend the NAM Summit in Delhi in 1983. President of Liberia, H.E. Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf accompanied by an high level delegation visited India in October 2015 to participate in the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit.

 

3.       Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai led the Liberian delegation, including Minister for Public Works, to the 9th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave held in New Delhi from 17-19 March 2013. This was the first visit to India by a Vice President of Liberia. Earlier, Liberian Commerce Minister Ms. Miata Beysolow participated in the 8th CIIEXIM Bank Conclave and the 2nd India-Africa Trade Ministers’ Conference in March 2012. Dr. Richard Tolbert, Chairman of the National Investment Commission of Liberia, and Dr. Frederick Norkey, Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry attended the 5th CII-EXIM Bank conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership in Delhi in March 2009. Mr. Robert Sirleaf, President’s Adviser and son, visited India in 2011 under the ICCR’s Distinguished Visitor’s Program.

 

4.       MoS, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Shri G M Siddeshwara visited Monrovia on 10-11 September 2015 to personally hand over Prime Minister’s invite for the third India Africa Forum Summit at New Delhi.The then MoS (External Affairs) Dr. Shashi Tharoor visited Liberia from 16-19 September 2009, accompanied by a CII business delegation. It was the first visit by an Indian Foreign Minister since Sardar Swaran Singh’s visit to the country 38 years ago in 1971. The visit was closely followed by another official visit by Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Shri Valayar Ravi in February 2010.

 

INDIA AND UNMIL:

5.       India’s contribution of two contingents, both 125-member strong to United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), has been well appreciated by Liberia. The Female Formed Police Unit (FFPU) of the CRPF to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (2007-2016), was the first-ever women contingent in the history of UN peacekeeping. This contingent not only generated enormous goodwill but also been a source of inspiration for Liberian women.

 

 

COMMERCIAL:

6.       The trade data during the last five years is as follows:

(In million US$)

Year

Exports

Imports

Total

2010-11

43.96

17.75

61.71

2011-12

78.78

9.09

87.87

2012-13

127.02

21.02

148.04

2013-14

253.68

26.86

280.54

2014-15

206.53

57.68

264.21

2015-16

133.88

32.20

166.08

2016-17

146.30

7.65

 153.96

 

7.       The main items of export from India are food stuff particularly cereals (rice), engineering goods, pharmaceuticals products, two wheelers, transport equipments, steel and iron, and plastic and rubber products. Imports from Liberia mainly include wood and articles of wood, metals scrap and natural rubber.

 

India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS)

8.       Liberia has been appreciative of PAN African e-network project. The project is currently being upgraded. A training centre for women in the Solar Energy sector (Barefoot College) is being set up in Bucannan county near capital Monrovia.

 

CAPACITY BUILDING AND ASSISTANCE:

9.       India has been contributing towards human resource development, capacity building and skills up-gradation of Liberians. India has provided 70 training slots to Liberia under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme in the current year 2017-18. Additionally, ICCR has granted 6 fully paid scholarships in 2017-18 for post graduate studies. Liberians have also been benefiting from other capacity building trainings in India under the decisions of IAFS as well as under the US-Liberia-India trilateral cooperation programme.

 

10.     India gifted 15 buses to Liberia which were formally received on 11 December 2014 by the Foreign Minister, H.E. Mr. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan in the presence President Sirleaf. India’s gift of 25 buses in 2010 became the most eloquent and visible example of India's assistance, improving daily lives of thousands of Liberians.

 

11.     India provided agricultural assistance package consisting of pesticides and sprayers to the Liberian government in 2009 to help combat emergency situation caused by caterpillar infestation. India has announced gifting a CT scan machine JFK Medical Centre in Monrovia, Barefoot Vocational Training Centre, a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology and a Farm Science Centre to augment the medical and educational sectors in Liberia. The execution of work to install CT scan machine and setting up of Barefoot Vocational Training Centre is at advanced stage.

 

12.     Liberia was severely affected by Ebola Virus outbreak during 2014-15. It was declared Ebola free by WHO on 9 May 2015. GOI extended bilateral assistance of over US$ 50,000 to Liberia to fight Ebola. In  addition, GOI provided cash assistance of US$ 500,000 to WHO as well as contribution of US$ 10 million to UN Fund for Ebola and additional US$ 2 million for purchase of protective gear to tackle Ebola for the three Ebola affected countries of West Africa including Liberia and Guinea. 

 

13.     In August 2014, the Indian Community in Liberia also donated assorted anti-Ebola related material worth more than US$ 200,000 to the National Task Force on Ebola. The donation was received by the Liberian President personally. This was in addition to the GOI assistance. Hyderabad based L. V. Prasad Eye Institute is setting up modern eye clinic at JFK Memorial Hospital in Monrovia.

 

INDIAN COMMUNITY:

14.     There are about 2000 Indian nationals residing in Liberia. The Indian community was mainly engaged in trading and providing services but now it is manufacturing ventures too. It is well respected by Liberia due to their substantial contribution to the Liberian economy. There is a Sikh Gurudwara, a Hindu Temple and also a cremation ground in Liberia.

 

Useful Resources:

16.     For more information and latest updates please visit Embassy of India, Abidjan website: http://www.eoiabidjan.org.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/EOICOTEDIVOIRE/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/EOIIvoryCoast

 

October 2017

 

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