Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a four-nation tour to Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya on Wednesday aimed at shoring up economic ties, firm up maritime security and counter balance China’s growing influence in the resource-rich African continent.
On the first leg of his visit on Thursday morning, the Prime Minister will reach Maputo, capital Mozambique.
He will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Mozambique in 34 years.
The Prime Minister will meet the Mozambique president Filipe Nyusi and will also visit the Mozambique parliament.
In the later part of the day he will interact with local students who studied in India. The Prime Minister will also attend a reception organized by Indian Diaspora before leaving Maputo.
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Indian High Commissioner to Mozambique Rudra Gaurav Shresth told media that the successful India Africa Forum summit hosted by India in October was the event which signalled Africa is really important for Indian foreign policy and the upcoming visit is a continuation of the interest that New Delhi expressed during the summit.
Shresth also mentioned that the signing of Memorandum of Undertakings (MOU’s) on Government to Government Purchase of Pulses and on Civil Aviation Co-operation will be taking place during the official meeting.
He further stated that the MoU on purchase of pulses will help Mozambique boost its agriculture production and India will be able to meet shortage of pulses in the country.
Apart from agriculture and food, deepening cooperation in areas of hydrocarbons, maritime security, trade and investment will also be major focus areas of the Prime Minister’s visit.
Mozambique is the third-largest exporter of natural gas, after Qatar and Australia, and a number of Indian companies, including ONGC, have invested heavily in the hydrocarbons sector in this country.
One fourth of Indian Investment in East Africa is in Mozambique.
The Trade with Mozambique has gone up 5 fold in last 5 years and presently stands around 2 billion dollars per year. India has extended around 640 million dollars as line of credit (LOC) to this country alone out of its total LOC of 2 Billion dollars to Africa till now.
Culturally also India shares historic relationship with Mozambique, as the Portuguese, the colonial masters of Mozambique ruled it for more than 200 years from Goa.