Indian president Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Ivory Coast capital Abidjan on Tuesday for a two-day state visit, the first visit of an Indian president since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1960.
President Alassane Ouattara welcomed Mukherjee who flew to Abidjan from Ghana as part of his three-nation African tour.
Ouattara is expected to honour the Indian president with the country’s highest national honour and a symbolic key of Abidjan, the largest city and capital of Ivory Coast. A banquet was held on Wednesday in honour of the Indian president.
Later in the day on Wednesday, Pranab Mukherjee will re-open the regional office of Exim Bank, India’s premier export finance institution, which relocated to Dakar during the civil war in the country, the Indian Economic Secretary, Amar Sinha said.
The trade volume between the two countries increased by 40% between 2014 and 2015 to reach $ 841 million (€ 746 million), making India the fifth largest trading partner of the Ivory Coast, according to figures from Ivorian foreign ministry.
Ivory Coast exports agricultural and oil products to India, while Indian pharmaceuticals and cars flood the Ivorian market. In addition, 18 Indian companies operate in Ivory Coast in the mining and cashew cultivation sectors.
In 2016, Ivory Coast became the largest producer of cashew nuts (or cashew), ahead of India, which absorbs almost all of Ivorian exports.
The Indian president leaves Abidjan later on Wednesday to visit Namibia.