Ministry of External Affairs recently held Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs) with Uganda and Gabon. Brief highlights are given below:
2nd Foreign Office Consultation between India and Uganda
The second round of Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs) between India and Uganda was held on 22 November 2022 in New Delhi. Shri Puneet R Kundal, Joint Secretary (E&SA), Ministry of External Affairs led the Indian delegation while Mr. Bagiire Vincent Waiswa, Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uganda led the Ugandan delegation.
Both sides reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations including political, economic, defence, trade & investment, development partnership, scholarship programmes and capacity building, cultural relations and people to people contacts. Discussions were also held on furthering bilateral co-operation in specific sectors such as forensic sciences, health, renewable energy, agro processing and Medium and Small enterprises. Both side also exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues including co-operation in UN, International Solar Alliance (ISA), East Africa Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The Indian side reiterated their invitation for Uganda to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).
Both sides expressed happiness on the bilateral trade, which touched US$ 840 billion for 2021-22 and discussed ways and means to further increase this trade.
The Indian side congratulated Uganda for their forthcoming Chairmanship of the Non Alignment Movement (NAM) starting in 2023. Discussions were also held on the fourth edition of India-Africa Forum Summit proposed to be held in 2023.
India-Gabon Foreign Office Consultations
India and Gabon held the first Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi on 22 November 2022. The Indian side was led by Shri Sevala Naik Mude, Joint Secretary (Central & West Africa Division), Ministry of External Affairs. The Gabonese side was led by H.E. Mr. Guy Gerard Nkolo, Ambassador, Director General of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Gabon.
Both sides carried out a comprehensive review of the existing bilateral relations, including strengthening of cooperation in trade and economic relations, defence and maritime, science & technology, innovation, research & development, culture, and people-to-people ties. The two sides also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest, including cooperation in the UN and other multilateral fora, climate change, International Solar Alliance (ISA) and sustainable development.
India and Gabon have traditionally enjoyed warm and friendly relations, which are based on shared democratic values and vision. Our bilateral relationship has further strengthened in the past few years with opening of the Gabonese Mission in New Delhi and exchange of high level visits. In May 2022, Hon’ble Vice President of India paid the first ever high level bilateral visit from India to Gabon. In October 2022, H.E. Michael Mousa Adamo, the Gabonese Foreign Minister, visited India to participate in the Special Meeting of UN Counter Terrorism Committee.
The bilateral trade between India and Gabon is growing at a healthy rate and has touched US$ 1.12 billion in 2021-22 from US$ 440 million in 2017-18 with India now being the 2nd largest destination for Gabonese exports. Over 50 Indian companies have set up manufacturing units in the Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ).