Mozambique, India could partner in oil, gas, agriculture: Mukherjee

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) Mozambique, which recently made gas discoveries amounting to 200 trillion cubic feet and has vast reserves of coal, could partner with India in the field of oil and gas as well as in agriculture, food processing and healthcare, President Pranab Mukherjee has said.

Mukherjee, who received Mozambique President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi and his wife Isaura Farrao Nyusi at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday, in his banquet speech in their honour also praised the southeast African nation’s rapid growth rate.

Mukherjee said India was happy to see Mozambique continuing its high rate of economic growth.

With the recent discoveries of natural gas and minerals, the future holds a lot of promise. India stands ready to partner with Mozambique in all areas of its development. Expected growth of Mozambican economy through exports of gas provides more scope for trade and investment. Both countries should work together to diversity bilateral trade, he said.

Mozambique, a country in southeast Africa that is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, is among the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa with an average annual real GDP growth of 8 percent.

Following the huge offshore gas discoveries, the International Energy Agency has projected that Mozambique’s revenue from gas could reach $115 billion up to 2040.

The gas discoveries are set to boost the GDP per capita from approximately $650 in 2013, to $4,500 by 2035.

Mukherjee also congratulated Nyusi on his election as the fourth president of Mozambique.

Nyusi visited India earlier as defence minister in 2011.

Mukherjee also praised Nyusi for selecting India as his first destination in Asia after becoming president.

He said Indian companies have made some of their largest investments overseas in Mozambique.

Trade between the two countries has seen impressive growth in recent years. He expressed confidence that the Mozambican president’s visit will strengthen the friendly relations and partnership between the two nations.

He said India stands ready to partner with Mozambique in all areas of its development.

Expected growth of Mozambican economy through exports of gas provides more scope for trade and investment. Both countries should work together to diversity bilateral trade, according to a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement.

In his banquet speech, the president said the state visit was taking place at a time when India and Mozambique were commemorating 40 years of establishment of diplomatic relations.

India was glad to see that, since then, Mozambique has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty, enhancing literacy, providing primary healthcare to its people and significantly increasing its agricultural production.

By ensuring internal peace and stability in the last two decades and taking up wide-ranging reforms, Mozambique has transformed itself into one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, he said.

India values its cooperation with Mozambique in international fora, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the Indian Ocean Rim Association.

In this 70th year of the United Nations, India looks forward to working together with Mozambique and partners in the African Union and the Southern African Development Community to pursue long awaited reforms.

In his address, the Mozambique president said he feels at home in India and recalled his days as a student at IIM, Ahmedabad.

He said discussions during his visit have been fruitful and productive.

He said he was confident that his visit will enable business of the two countries expand cooperation and bring people of the two countries closer together.

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