Shri Rahul Chhabra, Secretary (Economic Relations) visited Guinea Bissau (GB) on 5-6 July 2021. He was accompanied by Joint Secretary (C&WA), this was the first ever bilateral visit from our side.
Shri Chhabra called on President Umaro Sissoco Embaló and Deputy Prime Minister Soares Sambú, held delegation level discussions with Ms Udé Fati, Secretary of State for international cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and interacted with prominent members of the Indian community.
Both sides undertook a comprehensive review of the entire gamut of bilateral, regional, and international issues of mutual interest. Both sides collaborate closely in multilateral and regional fora like IBSA, TEAM-9 (Techno-Economic Approach for Africa-India Movement), IAFS (India-Africa Forum Summit), UN etc; Both sides took stock of exchanges of bilateral visits, holding of Joint Commission and FOC meetings, bilateral trade & investment, development partnership, capacity building, people to people to linkages, pending MOUs including ISA, eVBAB, and visa free travel for diplomatic and official passport holders, opening of resident missions, regional and global issues.
Also discussed was capacity building training in cashew nuts processing, Digital India program, Co-Win platform and Covaxin to fight Covid-19, development of ports, mining (bauxite, phosphates), agriculture and food processing in Guinea Bissau. Both sides noted with appreciation their cooperation on COVID-19 related issues including supply of medicines and made in India vaccines under COVAX initiative. GB appreciated for gifting 1000 mts of rice.
Bilateral relations between India and Guinea Bissau are warm and friendly and are poised to grow in the times ahead. The present bilateral trade of US$ 135 million is below potential and there is considerable scope for higher growth. India imports close to 90% of Guinea Bissau’s raw cashew nuts and is the biggest export partner of Guinea Bissau. Both sides noted to expand trade basket, organization of business delegations and road shows, both in-person, and virtual platforms.
India has extended developmental assistance to GB worth over US$ 25 million under lines of credit. India continues to extend capacity building support with scholarships, skill development trainings under ITEC.
The talks were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere. Both sides agreed to exchange bilateral visits at regular intervals.
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