- Recently a delegation from Gabon visited India and interacted with the Indian business community, also India congratulated Gabon on its Independence Day (17 August).
- Earlier, the Vice President of India visited Gabon, where he signed two MoUs.
What are MoUs:
- Establishment of a Joint Commission between the Governments of India and Gabon.
- Diplomatic Training Institute, Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Services and Gabonese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- India signed to work with Gabon to strengthen cooperation in various fields at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.
- India and Gabon have had cordial and friendly relations since the pre-independence era of Gabon.
- The former Vice President of India visited the African nation of Gabon in May 2022, which was India’s first high-level visit to Gabon.
- Both India and Gabon currently serve as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
Trade and commerce:
- Bilateral trade between the two countries has reached US$ 1.12 billion in the year 2021-22.
- India is the second largest destination for exports from Gabon.
- In the business sector, more than 50 Indian companies are engaged in the Gabon Special Economic Zones.
Cooperation on International Forum:
- Both India and Gabon are members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
- NAM focuses on contemporary mainstream issues of relevance to the developing world.
- Gabon supports India’s interests in various international fora.
- India congratulated Gabon on being elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2022-23.
- India has supported the Azulwini consensus and the position of ordinary Africans enshrined in the Sirte Declaration.
- The Azulwini Consensus is an agreement on the reform of international relations and the United Nations, agreed upon by the African Union.
- It calls for a more representative and democratic Security Council, in which Africa is represented, like other countries of the world.
- Sirte Declaration (1999), was a resolution adopted to establish the African Union.
International Solar Alliance:
- Gabon is one of the first countries to sign and ratify the International Solar Alliance Agreement.
- India has assured to provide all possible help to Gabon to achieve its renewable energy goals.
- Gabon plans to achieve 100% clean energy by 2030.
- Many Gabon citizens follow scholarship/training programs offered by India under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and ICCR schemes.
- India imported crude oil worth about US$ 670 million from Gabon in the year 2021-22, making it an important partner for India’s energy security requirement.
- The people of the Indian community are basically engaged in infrastructure projects, trade, export of wood and metal scrap.
- The Indian diaspora is making significant contributions to various areas of Gabon.
- The Indian community in Gabon has kept Indian culture alive and major Indian festivals are celebrated together by the entire community.
- There is a need to enhance India-Gabon cooperation in other areas such as green energy, services, health and agriculture.
- Both countries should widen their economic partnership to attract investments.
- There is immense potential for cooperation in agriculture such as knowledge transfer in the agricultural sector from India to Gabon.