India, Burundi to further strengthen bilateral trade: Prez

Pranab Mukherjee sought Burundi`s support for India`s candidature for permanent membership in an expanded UN Security Council.

Updated: Sep 18, 2012, 21:50 PM IST

New Delhi: Expressing India`s willingness to support East African nation Burundi in its growth, President Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday said both the countries need to systematically pursue new areas of economic cooperation and investment for their mutual benefit.

Mukherjee sought Burundi`s support for India`s candidature for permanent membership in an expanded UN Security Council.

"India stands ready and willing to join hands with the people of Burundi in pursuing their aspirations for development and growth. There is great potential to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment between our two countries.

"New areas of economic cooperation and investment are opening up. These need to be pursued systematically to the mutual benefit of our people," the President said at a banquet organised for Burundi`s President Pierre Nkurunziza and his wife Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza.

India`s experience, particularly in energy, agriculture, infrastructure, minerals and in the development of small scale industries and capacity building, are ideally suited to generate employment for the youth, he said.

"We believe that this could be of relevance to Burundi`s socio-economic development," Mukherjee said.

Earlier, India today announced a USD 40 million line of credit to mineral-rich Burundi and signed MoUs relating to rural development, health and medicine sectors.

Mukherjee acknowledged the growing role of Burundi in the regional affairs of Africa and its contribution to peace- keeping in Darfur, Chad and the Central African Republic.

India and Burundi have been working together in various international fora including the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement.

We share a common commitment to pluralism, inclusiveness and creation of an equitable world order.

"We are confident that you will support our endeavours in the reform of the UN. We welcome your support for our candidature for permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council," the President said.

Burundi has opened an Embassy here in 2009 to facilitate bilateral engagements.

Mukherjee pointed out India`s assistance to Burundi in conducting training programmes and scholarship schemes for under-graduate and post-graduate studies in agriculture, science and scientific research.

We are willing to do more wherever you require it.

I understand that we have further increased the number of scholarships for students from Burundi and agreed to establish educational institutions for capacity building

"I have no doubt that our bilateral cooperation in the new areas that have been identified during your present visit will bind us even further in an enduring partnership," the President said.