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In Mozambique, Jaishankar amplifies PM Modi’s pitch on Global South

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with the Mozambican Minister of Transport and Communication and Chairman, Mozambican Port & Rail Authority Mateus Magala, in Maputo (Image courtesy: Twitter/@DrSJaishankar)

Carrying forward Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making Mozambique the ‘gateway for Indian investment in Africa’, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will co-chair the 5th India-Mozambique Joint Commission meeting with his Mozambican counterpart Veronica Nataniel Macamo in Maputo on Friday.

Jaishankar’s visit to the eastern coast of southern Africa is a clear demonstration of the sustained and rapid increase in bilateral ties between India and Mozambique, particularly since PM Modi’s visit to the country in 2016.

It also translates into action India’s mission of utilising its current G20 presidency to give resonance to the voice of the Global South and the importance of South-South Cooperation to collectively shape the global agenda.

As reported by IndiaNarrative.com, India and Mozambique – which enjoys a privileged geographical location with its 2500 km long coast bordering on the Indian Ocean – have a strong and expanding partnership in diverse domains. It includes defence and security, trade and investment, agriculture and agro-industry, disaster management, health and pharmaceuticals, science and technology, and human resource development.

Jaishankar, who kicked off the Africa trip from Uganda on Monday, arrived in Maputo via a short Addis Ababa transit on Thursday to an “energetic” Mozambican welcome.

The EAM began engagements in Maputo by meeting the President of the Mozambique Assembly Esperança Bias. It was followed by a visit to the Mozambican Ports and Railways Authority (CFM) where Jaishankar had “a great green transport conversation” with the Mozambican Minister of Transport and Communication and Chairman, Mozambican Port & Rail Authority Mateus Magala.

Both ministers talked about expanding train networks, electric mobility and waterways connectivity as they took a train ride in a Diesel Electric Motor Unit (DEMU) that has been sourced from India through the Government of India’s concessional Line of Credit of USD 95 million.

Describing it as a “novel experience”, Jaishankar also interacted with the local media on the moving train.

Jaishankar also virtually inaugurated the Buzi Bridge constructed as part of the 132-km Tica-Buzi-Nova-Sofala road project, yet another step in strengthening India-Mozambique ties.

The EAM then offered prayers at the Shree Vishvambhar Mahadev Mandir in Maputo.

The warm and friendly relations between the two countries are not just cemented by robust development partnerships but also by the large presence of the Indian diaspora.

Winding up the busy day with the community representatives and friends of India at a reception hosted by Indian High Commissioner in Maputo, Jaishankar underlined the significance of the time-tested and historic relationship between the two countries that is expanding.

The minister asserted that India will keep following PM Modi’s Kampala principles and will be guided by the priorities and interests of its partners in their quest for growth and development.

“Highlighted that India today does not speak only for itself, but for the Global South. Transformational changes are happening in an Atmanirbhar Bharat that is putting us on a different trajectory,” tweeted Jaishankar.

Indian companies have substantial investments in Mozambique with the African country also being an important trading partner of India, acting as one of the principal exporters of Pigeon Peas (Tur), which
is a staple diet in India.

India and Mozambique continue to take giant strides in their partnerships in the energy sector.

Offshore gas discoveries in 2010 in two adjacent offshore blocks have seen the emergence of Mozambique as a significant hydrocarbon-rich nation. Strategically located, the African nation is ideally suited for bringing natural gas to India at a market-determined price.

ONGC Videsh and Oil India Limited have taken a 20% stake in the Andarko-led consortium in the north of Mozambique where huge quantities of natural gas were discovered. In addition, some other Indian companies are investing in the coal, mineral and hydrocarbon sectors, including Tata Steel, JSPL, JSW, Essar, Coal India Ltd and BPRL.

Jaishankar is also scheduled to inspect the facilities of the Fabrica Nacional de Medicamentos (FNM) in Matola which has entered into a joint venture with the Serum Institute of India for manufacturing vaccines with technology transfer in Mozambique.

Also Read: Is Mozambique becoming India’s gateway for investments and security in Africa?