India is source of 'inspiration' for Mozambique: Envoy | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India is source of 'inspiration' for Mozambique: Envoy

delhi Updated: Mar 16, 2010 17:32 IST

Mozambique is finalising two key agreements with India, one on double taxation avoidance and another on conferring most favoured nation status, to strengthen its trade and economic ties with a nation which it sees as an "inspiration".

"Both our governments are determined to start a new kind of relationship, an enduring relation, with each other," Mozambique's High Commissioner Jose Maria Morais told IANS on the margins of the two-day India-Africa Partnership Summit that ended here Tuesday.

"Most-favoured nation status is a very normal thing to extend, when two countries are so involved in each other -- they must get special treatment," Morais said on the final day of summit, that was co-hosted by the Export-Import Bank of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

"India as a source of inspiration for us."

Morais said the relationship between India and Mozambique was strong and the cooperation healthy, involves a host of areas, notably infrastructure development, energy, rural electrification, harnessing minerals and information and communications technologies.

"India is a huge country but still knows the challenges we as an economy face today -- poverty is common on both sides. But the India of today is not the India we saw say 25 years ago," he said.

"We hope 25 years from now, with cooperation from countries like yours, we will be as prepared as India today is. For that reason, we really believe that we must learn and work very closely with India," he added.

"India can become a major partner in our development. There is not only political will, but Indian industry is also a willing and helping partner."

The envoy said the two countries had already signed an agreement to promote and protect bilateral investment and that work was progressing fast for another pact to avoid double taxation.

"This is being given final touches. Hopefully, it will be signed shortly."

Morais said Mozambique -- which has a population of 20.2 million - was also happy for the lines of credit extended by India over the past six-seven, which amounted to around $150 million. "Such credit has given the Indian business community confidence in doing trade with my country."

He said he was looking forward to such lines of credit to continue in the ensuing years, even as he hoped the India Inc will scale up its investment in Mozambique,adding that India was already the fourth largest investor in the African nation.

According to officials from Mozambique's foreign office, the country also has a vibrant Indian diaspora, with some 1,000 of them Indian nationals and over 20,000 holding either the African country's passport or from Portugal.

The people of Indian origin are mainly engaged in the wholesale and retail trade and originally came from Gujarat, Goa, Daman and Diu. They control about 40 percent of the wholesale and retail trade in Mozambique.

This apart, some big business houses and multinational firms have engaged Indian professionals at senior management levels.