The central African state of Gabon has sought increased investments from India in various sectors of the economy as the country looks for stronger involvement of BRICS countries in the development of different sectors in Gabon.
During talks with commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu, Regis Immongault, foreign minister of Gabon, also showed interest in entering into a bilateral investment treaty with India.
Commerce minister while welcoming the foreign minister of Gabon said that India attached great importance to its relations with Gabon and offered all assistance to Gabon in its march to become a growing economy.
Prabhu also suggested that the two countries work together in sectors like logistics, infrastructure, energy, water, agriculture, services and tourism.
Bilateral trade between India and Gabon currently stands at $440.47 million and it is yet to realise full potential, Prabhu pointed out. Both sides will have to work together to improve bilateral trade in the coming years, he added.
At present Indian companies are operating in wood, plywood, mining and fisheries sectors. The Gabonese foreign minister said that Gabon is looking for stronger involvement of BRICS countries in the development of different sectors in Gabon.
India also suggested that Gabon may give a complete list of minerals for Indian industries to consider investing in mining projects.
Gabon has the sixth largest reserves of manganese in the world. It is one of the four countries in the world with high grade reserves along with South Africa, Australia and Brazil. It is the fourth largest producer, globally, of manganese ore with 11 per cent share in global production after South Africa (26 per cent), China (17 per cent) and Australia (15 per cent). With large reserves yet to exploited, the Gabonese side is keen to develop this sector. Manganese Ore India Ltd (MOIL) team visited Gabon in July 2018 to explore possibilities of collaboration with Gabonese mining companies.
Gabon is also making efforts to attract investment from India in construction of railway lines in key mining clusters in Gabon. RITES conducted a feasibility study for one of the proposed lines. Both India and Gabon have agreed to send business delegations to look at opportunities for trade and investments.