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BENGALURU: Minister of state for commerce and industry Anupriya Patel on Wednesday highlighted the need for diversification of trade basket and deeper cooperation in bilateral investment between India and Gabon during a meeting with her Gabon counterpart Pacome Moubelet-Boubeya.

The two sides discussed active economic engagement and identified new areas for cooperation, particularly in mining, defence, agriculture, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and renewable energy.

The two ministers, while expressing satisfaction about growing bilateral trade, which crossed $1.2 billion in 2021-22 despite the pandemic, acknowledged the need for diversification of trade basket and deeper cooperation in bilateral investment.

Moubelet Boubeya, minister of state, minister of industry, Republic of Gabon, is on a two day visit to New Delhi to attend the 17th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Growth Partnership.

Moubelet-Boubeya is accompanied by a high-level delegation of ten members. 

The minister apprised India about investment opportunities in Gabon, especially in the Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ) wherein 54 Indian companies have set up manufacturing units in various sectors like pharma, timber, mining, steel and food processing.

“Both sides noted the need for cooperation in skill development and training and capacity building in key sectors, including quality standards," a statement from the commerce ministry said.

The MoS appreciated the “Emergent Gabon Vision 2025" plan and assured India's full cooperation in Gabon's transformation and diversification of its economy. Patel also appreciated the joint efforts of India and Africa Group at the recent WTO Ministerial Conference held in Geneva. "Both ministers have agreed to continue cooperation at various multilateral organisations, including the UN and the World Trade Organization," said the release.

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