Visits Visits

Visit of the President of the Republic of Benin H. E. Dr. Boni Yayi to India

March 03, 2009

At the invitation of Rashtrapatiji, the President of the Republic of Benin, H.E. Dr. Boni Yayi is paying a State Visit to India from 3-7 March 2009. He is accompanied by the First Lady and a 34-member delegation which includes three Ministers, senior officials, representatives of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, businessmen and media. The visit, after a gap of more than 25 years, represents a significant landmark in India-Benin bilateral relations.

The Beninese President will call on Rashtrapatiji and would hold official talks with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. The Vice-President, External Affairs Minister and the Leader of Opposition will call on him.

Several agreements for institutionalizing bilateral cooperation are expected to be signed during the visit. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) are jointly organizing an interaction with the Indian business community for the visiting Beninese delegation at New Delhi. The delegation will be going to Agra, Mumbai and Bengaluru. In Mumbai the Indo-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry is organizing one-to-one business meetings. In Bengaluru, the delegation will be visiting Infosys and Avasthagen (bio-tech company) campuses.

A multi-religious, multi-ethnic society and a multi-party democracy, Benin, home to 9.3 million people is located in West Africa and borders Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso and Niger. Members of NAM, India and Benin have traditionally enjoyed friendly relations. Both countries share a commonality of views on major international issues such as UN Reforms and combating international terrorism. Benin has supported India's candidature for permanent membership on an expanded UNSC. It outrightly condemned the terrorist attacks on Mumbai in November 2008.

India has in the past gifted 100 tractors and agricultural implements, as well as, extended a US$18.8 million Line of Credit for rural electrification to Benin. The country regularly avails of training facilities under the ITEC programme in various fields. It has also subscribed to the Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme announced by India in April 2008. India's bilateral trade with Benin is currently US$350 million.

Benin was included in the first group of countries in the Government of India's Pan-African e-network project, which was officially inaugurated by the External Affairs Minister last week.

New Delhi

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