Sat, Dec 3, 2016 | updated 11:07 PM IST

Trade, investment levels between India, Mali still below immense potential: Vice President

Updated: Sep 30, 2016 21:24 IST

By Amit Shankar

Bamako [Mali], Sept. 30 (ANI): Noting that economic and trade relations between India and Mali are expanding, with bilateral trade having trebled in the last five years, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari on Friday said trade and investment levels are still below the immense potential that exists.

"We see ourselves as a partner in Mali's reconstruction, economic development and growth. Government of India has extended 7 Lines of Credit, worth US$ 353 million to Mali. A large project of US$ 150 million for power transmission, connecting Bamako and Sikasso via Bougouni, is being finalised," he said, adding that India is ready to deepen the development partnership with Mali and will continue to extend all possible assistance in human resource development and capacity building to Mali.

"We are confident that continued stability and peace would encourage Indian companies to look at Mali as an attractive investment destination for the mutual benefit of peoples of our two countries," said the Vice President while addressing the Malian National Assembly here.

"My visit, the first high level visit to Mali from India, comes at a time when the world is acknowledging the India growth story. This economic growth provides India more resources not just for its own development, but also more financial leverage in expanding the scope of its engagement with emerging growth poles of the world like Africa. It comes at a time when Africa, awash with the spirit of democracy, has consolidated its control over its resources and accelerated its march towards securing a prosperous future for its people," he stated.

Noting that the partnership between India and Mali can be a source of great strength for each other, both to reinforce and accelerate each other's economic development and to build a more just, inclusive, equitable and sustainable world, he said, "We have complementary resources and markets; and, the power of our human capital. We also have a shared global vision."

Talking about the future roadmap that will reflect shared vision and goals and strengths and capabilities of both nations, Vice President Ansari said, "These could include areas such as human resource development, institution building, infrastructure, clean energy, agriculture, health, education and skill development. We will also work together on addressing common issues like climate change and sustainable development of blue economy."

"India's development partnership is centred on human resource development and establishment of institutions in Africa, which are, in turn, creating skills and capacities in Africa, including in areas like agriculture, food processing, textiles and small industries to expand exports to India and other countries," he observed.

Stating that India and Mali will certainly raise their partnership to a much higher level in the years ahead, Vice President Ansari said, "We will also make our partnership more effective, based on a comprehensive review of our Development Partnership programme with Africa, particularly in terms of capacity building, infrastructure support and technology sharing, in discussion with our African partners.

"We are confident, that with its sagacious leadership; abundant natural resources; and its talented youth, Africa is well on its way to realise the vision of "Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want". And in this journey, India will be there as a friend and privileged partner, to share our experience and resources, to support African nations in whatever manner they want."

Vice President Ansari on Thursday arrived in Mali on a two-day visit after his successful trip to Nigeria.

Malian Prime Minister Modibo Keita received and welcomed the Vice President at Bamako's Modibo Keita International Airport here. Vice President Ansari, accompanied by his wife Salma Ansari, is visiting Mali at the invitation of Prime Minister Keita.

Vice President Ansari is also accompanied by Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal and a four Members of Parliament, senior officials and media. (ANI)