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India-Gabon Relations

  • 17 Aug 2022
  • 4 min read

For Prelims: UNSC, NAM, ISA

For Mains: India-Gabon Relations and its significance

Why in News?

Recently, A delegation from Gabon visited India and interacted with the Indian business community, also India congratulated Gabon on its Independence Day (17th August).

  • Earlier, the Vice President of India visited Gabon, where he signed two MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding).

What are the MoUs?

  • Establishment of a Joint Commission between the Governments of India and Gabon.
  • Diplomats’ training institutes, Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Services and Gabonese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    • India signed to work with Gabon to strengthen cooperation in various spheres at bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels.

How has been the India-Gabon Partnership?

  • Diplomatic:
    • India and Gabon have enjoyed warm and friendly relations dating back to the pre-independence era of Gabon.
    • Former Vice President of India visited the African nation of Gabon in May 2022 making it the first-ever high-level visit of India to Gabon.
    • Both India and Gabon are currently serving as non-permanent members of the UNSC (United Nation Security Council).
  • Business and Trade:
    • The Bilateral trade between both nations reached USD 1.12 billion in 2021-22.
    • India is the 2nd largest destination for Gabonese exports.
    • In the business sector, more than 50 Indian companies are engaged in the Gabon Special Economic Zone.
  • Cooperation on International Forum:
    • Both India and Gabon are members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
      • NAM focuses on mainstream contemporary issues of relevance to the developing world.
    • Gabon supports India’s candidature at various international forums.
      • India congratulated Gabon for getting elected as a non-permanent member of UN Security Council for the term 2022-23.
    • India supported for the Common African Position enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration.
      • The Ezulwini Consensus is a position on international relations and reform of the United Nations, agreed by the African Union.
        • It calls for a more representative and democratic Security Council, in which Africa, like all other world regions, is represented.
      • The Sirte Declaration (1999) was the resolution adopted to establish the African Union.
  • International Solar Alliance:
    • Gabon was among the first countries to sign and ratify the International Solar Alliance agreement.
    • India conveyed to extend all possible assistance to Gabon to achieve its renewable energy targets.
      • Gabon plans to have 100% clean energy by 2030.
  • Education:
    • A number of Gabonese nationals pursue scholarship/training programs offered by India under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and ICCR schemes.
  • Energy Cooperation:
    • India imported about USD 670 million worth crude oil from Gabon in 2021-22, making it an important partner for India’s energy security requirement.
  • Indian Diaspora:
    • People from the Indian community are basically engaged in infrastructure projects, trading, export of timber and metal scrap.
    • The Indian diaspora have been making significant contributions in various fields in Gabon.
    • The Indian community in Gabon has kept Indian culture alive and major Indian festivals are celebrated by the entire community together.

Way Forward

  • There is a need to Explore India-Gabon cooperation in green energy, services, health, and agriculture among other sectors.
  • Both countries should broaden their economic partnership to attract investments.
  • There is plethora of possibilities for cooperation in Agriculture such as knowledge transfer in the farming sector from India to Gabon.

Source: BS

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