Prelims Syllabus : International- India Bilateral Cooperation Mains Syllabus : GS-II- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Why in News?
- The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, reached Cotonou, Benin on the first leg of his state visits to three West African nations – Benin, Gambia and Guinea.
- This visit is the first-ever visit of Head of State/Head of Government of India to each of the three countries.
- MOUs exchanged between India and Benin:
- Cultural Exchange Programme between the two countries for the years 2019-2023
- MOU on Cooperation in the field of Export Credit and Investment Insurance
- MOU between Benin & Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) for participation in the e- VBAB Network Project (Technology upgradation of Pan Africa e-Network Project (PAeNP)- Phase-I) of Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. Agreement on mutual exemption from the visa requirement for holders of Diplomatic, Official/Service Passports
India and Benin:
- India is keen to strengthen economic partnership with Benin. India has emerged as the largest trading partner of Benin with two-way trade crossing US$ 800 million.
- Around 100 Indian or Indian-owned companies are operating in Benin. More Indian companies are interested to enter the Benin market, especially in mining. India seeks Benin’s support to help them grow their business.
- President announced fresh Line of Credit worth US$ 100 million for developmental projects in Benin. He also announced extension of e-visa facility to Benin.
- India also offered to extend free tele-education courses to 15,000 Beninese students and tele-medicine courses to 1000 doctors and paramedics in Africa.
- In addition, the two sides discussed defence and security cooperation and India offered further training assistance to Benin to expand its anti-piracy capacity.
- India thanked Benin for its support for India’s candidature for permanent membership of the UN Security Council. Both countries reiterated their commitment to stand together in the global fight against terrorism and piracy.