India and Guinea-Bissau are forging ties in cashewnuts processing, digital and covid-19 vaccines, among other areas, in the wake of recent meetings.
In the first ever bilateral visit by an Indian Government official to the African country, Shri Rahul Chhabra, Secretary of Economic Relations, was in Bissau on 5-6 July 2021, where he met with President Umaro Sissoco Embaló, Deputy Prime Minister Soares Sambú, among other officials, according to a statement.
Discussions included “capacity building training in cashewnuts 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”, India´s Foreign Ministry adds. Both sides are cooperating on Covid-19, including supply of medicines and made in India vaccines under the COVAX initiative.
Pending MOUs include visa free travel for diplomatic and official passport holders, opening of resident missions, regional and global issues. “Bilateral relations between India and Guinea Bissau are warm and friendly and are poised to grow in the times ahead”, the Indian Government adds.
The present bilateral trade of USD 135 million is considered below potential, with scope for higher growth. India imports close to 90% of Guinea Bissau’s raw cashew nuts and is the African country´s biggest export partner. 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 Bissau worth over USD 25 million under lines of credit. India continues to extend capacity building support with scholarships, skill development trainings. Both sides agreed to exchange bilateral visits at regular intervals.