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Home > Remarks by Ambassador of India to Cote d’Ivoire H.E. Mr. Dinesh Bhatia during Meeting of Prime Minister Duncan with CII at New Delhi; 4 November 2014

Remarks by Ambassador of India to Cote d’Ivoire H.E. Mr. Dinesh Bhatia during Meeting of Prime Minister Duncan with CII at New Delhi; 4 November 2014

 

 

 

Embassy of India

Abidjan

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Remarks by Ambassador of India to Cote d’Ivoire H.E. Mr. Dinesh Bhatia

During Meeting of Prime Minister Duncan with CII

at New Delhi; 4 November 2014

 

 

At the outset, I take this opportunity to welcome PM H.E. Duncan, Ministers Jean-Claude Brou and Jean Louis Billon to India and my colleague Ambassador Sainy Tiemele.

 

I also take this opportunity to thank CII for organising this interaction at short notice.

 

While Prime Minister would give an elaborate presentation, let me talk from the perspective of Indians who are now keenly looking towards Africa in General and Cote d’Ivoire in particular.

 

Cote d’Ivoire has the size of Malaysia or little smaller than Germany. It is bigger than all states in India except Rajasthan.

 

Cote d’Ivoire was once perhaps the most stable and prosperous country in the African continent till late 1980s.

 

Cote d’Ivoire has an abundance of natural resources. Let me at the cost of repetition say that if you put seeds anywhere, in few weeks time, you can harvest them without any fertilisers. The land is blessed.

 

While agriculture continues to be the mainstay of the economy due to agri-exports, there are vast opportunities in mining such as manganese, iron, gold, diamond, etc.; infrastructure; transport; energy; ICT; trading; microfinance; etc. Cote d’Ivoire has witnessed rather high rate of economic growth of nearly 9% in 2012 and in 2013 after an average growth of 1% p.a. in the first decade of 21st century. Further, president Ouattara has declared to make Cote d’Ivoire an emerging economy by 2020.

 

Peace and stability: The next Presidential elections are due in October 2015. With former President Henri Konan Bedie of PDCI, having declared his support to President Ouattara, the next elections are expected to be held in peace and President Ouattara’s victory is almost assured.

 

 

The result of this peace and political stability is that the headquarters of the African Development Bank is in the process of returning to Abidjan from Tunis which is going to be completed by the end of 2014. It had shifted to Tunis in 2002 after the unrest in Cote d’Ivoire.

 

There is NO Ebola in Cote d’Ivoire. The law and order is above par vis-à-vis the rest of Africa.

 

The bilateral trade between the two countries, which was in the vicinity of US$ 400 million before 2011, reached US$ 748.86 million in 2011-12 and US$ 780.20 million in 2012-13. However, the spike came down in the subsequent year to US$ 597.23 million.

 

India has been actively involved in financing of several Ivorian projects and has so far extended more than US$ 136 million under various Lines of Credits to Cote d’Ivoire. Some of the projects have been completed and others are at different stages of implementation. New lines of credit are also being discussed.

 

India also provided 60 slots under ITEC programme every year as well as 9 ICCR scholarships in 2013-14 to help Cote d’Ivoire in capacity building.

 

The Indian community which was just about 400-500 till 2010 is witnessing a quantum jump as number is estimated to be around 1500 and increasing. The cashew season brings another 800-1000 Indians temporarily.

 

With these words, I invite you all to visit Abidjan. Thank you.

 

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