Excellency President Filipe Nyusi,
Members of the Media,
I am delighted to welcome President Nyusi and his delegation to India.
President Nyusi assumed office earlier this year. We are happy that India is his first destination in Asia.
The visit is special because this is the 40th anniversary year of independence of Mozambique and the 40th anniversary year of the establishment of our diplomatic relations.
Africa and the Indian Ocean are among the highest priorities for our foreign policy. Mozambique is crucial for both.
Mozambique and India have centuries-old trade ties. 20,000 people of Indian origin in Mozambique are an important link between us. Our colonial experiences and development aspirations have shaped a shared vision and a strong partnership.
Mozambique can be a large and a proximate source of natural gas, coal and other minerals that are so important to drive our growth. It also offers huge opportunities in agriculture sector.
I am pleased that Indian investments in these sectors have grown significantly in recent years. Mozambique hosts nearly 25% of Indian investments in Africa. Our trade has multiplied five times in the last five years.
We are delighted to be a development partner for Mozambique in several areas, including agriculture, healthcare, energy, infrastructure and human resource development.
So, as we seek to deepen our relations with Mozambique and enhance our engagement in the Indian Ocean Region and Africa, we are pleased that President Nyusi is visiting us now.
In my discussions today, I have conveyed the importance that we attach to Mozambique as our regional partner. I have also stressed our commitment to our development partnership, in accordance with Mozambique’s priorities.
We spoke of our economic synergies and cooperation. I expressed hope that Mozambique would continue to provide an encouraging environment for investments from India, including in the areas of hydrocarbons, minerals and infrastructure. We have agreed to explore ways to speed up the implementation of power supply project in Maputo, being funded by Indian line of credit.
I have assured him of India’s full assistance and collaboration in agriculture and food security. In turn, India could also benefit from the development of Mozambique’s agriculture sector.
We have today finalised an MoU on Cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy. This is an important area in our respective efforts towards sustainable development. It assumes special importance this year as the international community moves to finalise a Climate Change agreement in Paris later this year. India has already partnered Mozambique in setting up a solar panel assembly plant.
India and Mozambique have large coastlines and are linked by Indian Ocean. I have discussed ways in which we can intensify cooperation in maritime security and ocean economy.
In recent years, our cooperation has included ship visits and hydrography surveys for Mozambique.
Today, we have discussed other areas of cooperation in defence, building on his last visit to India as Defence Minister in 2011. We agreed that the next meeting of our Joint Working Group on Defence Cooperation will be scheduled soon.
We also discussed a range of regional and global issues of mutual interest. We greatly appreciate Mozambique’s support for India’s candidature for Permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council.
In this 70th year of the United Nations, I sought his support to press for urgently needed reforms of the United Nations, especially the Security Council.
We also welcome the finalisation of the Sustainable Development Goals with focus on elimination of poverty by 2030, and look forward to the adoption of the post-2015 Development Agenda in September.
We underlined the need for an effective climate change accord in Paris later this year, which also provides the means and technology to developing countries to transition to clean energy sources.
I briefed President Nyusi about the Third India-Africa Forum Summit to be held in October in New Delhi. There are remarkable similarities in the development goals and priorities of India and Africa.
For the first time, we have invited leaders of 54 African countries to participate in the India-Africa Forum Summit. We look forward to President Nyusi’s participation in the Summit.
Finally, let me extend our sincere appreciation for your government’s strong support that made the International Day of Yoga a big success in Mozambique.
Excellency, your visit has renewed the focus on this very important relationship, not just for our two countries, but also as a bridge across the Indian Ocean between Africa and India. I am confident that your experience and wisdom will be a source of strength in taking our relationship to a new level.
Thank you very much, President.