New Delhi: Asserting that India has participated in Liberia's development effort through human resource and capacity building support in recent years, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said New Delhi's decision to extend USD 144mn credit line to Monrovia will further enhance the engagements between the two nations.
In his statement to the media during the state visit of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf , Dr. Singh said: "In recent years, India has participated in Liberia's development effort through human resource and capacity building support. Our decision to sign a line of credit agreement of 144 million US dollars this morning, to fund a power transmission and distribution project in Liberia, will further enhance our engagements."
"We will also enhance scholarships and training slots under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme for Liberia. India will be setting up an Information Technology Centre, a Vocational Training Centre, a Farm Science Centre and a Training Centre for Women in the field of solar energy in Liberia," he added.
India today extended a USD 144 million line of credit to Liberia for development of power transmission and distribution projects to reduce the gap of power shortage in Liberia.
Welcoming President Sirleaf on her first state visit to India, Dr. Singh said her voice is heard with great respect in Africa and throughout the world.
"Her vision and leadership have contributed to Liberia's political transformation, economic resurgence and progress towards peace and stability in the region. We are honoured that she has accepted the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2012, which will be conferred on her tomorrow by our President," he added.
Asserting that India and Liberia enjoy warm and friendly relations, Dr. Singh said: "Our official exchanges, trade and investment linkages and people-to-people interactions are growing steadily. President Sirleaf and I have reviewed our relations and pledged to work together to realize the full potential of our partnership."
Dr. Singh said the two sides have decided to enhance our cooperation in a number of areas, including agricultural research, healthcare, small and medium enterprises, science and technology, education and skill development.
"A new Joint Commission will guide and review progress in our bilateral cooperation. The Memorandum of Understanding signed today for cooperation in the oil and gas sector will enable our two countries to undertake structured cooperation in this vital area, where India's experience can be of some relevance to Liberia," said Dr. Singh.
"There is great potential to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment relations between our two countries. Indian investments in Liberia, especially in the mining sector, are growing. I requested President Sirleaf to facilitate Indian investment in agriculture, infrastructure, hydrocarbon, mining and manufacturing in line with Liberia's national development goals and policies," he addded.
Dr. Singh said that he and visiting Liberian President also exchanged views on the India-Africa Forum Summit in pursuit of our shared objective to build a robust and contemporary India-Africa partnership.
"Our two countries have agreed to work together for the promotion of international peace and stability, particularly on the African continent, and to make common cause to ensure that global governance is just and meets the aspirations of the developing world," said Dr. Singh.
"We also exchanged views on global and regional issues, including the urgent need for reform of the United Nations Security Council. India deeply appreciates Liberia's support for our candidature as a permanent member of a reformed and expanded Security Council," he added.
Dr. Singh said President Sirleaf's visit has imparted fresh impetus to our joint efforts to strengthen our bilateral relations.
"Our talks today have laid a strong foundation for closer political understanding and deepening of our economic exchanges in the coming years," he added.
First Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 17:18