New Delhi: Ivory Coast is looking to boost their trade relationship with India and diversify their trade baskets and move up the value chain.
At a meeting organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry Ivory Coast Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, said, "Côte d'Ivoire exported largely primary articles such as farm produce and its imports consisted of finished items such as pharmaceuticals, automobiles and plastics among others."
He was also of the view that the trade was also below potential and had substantial room for improvement.
He invited Indian companies to invest in Ivory Coast and value-add to the primary articles that they are currently importing.
He highlighted that peace and stability had been restored in and reforms were being undertaken to make the country more business friendly.
These included setting up of a one stop shop for investment, streamlining of approvals and easier access to land among others.
He stated that it would take 24 hours to set up a company in his country and 21 days for that company to obtain the requisite approvals for an investment project and begin operations.
He pointed out that it was one of the fastest growing countries in Africa and the world with growth rates in the region of 9% over the past couple of years. He stated that the growth was further expected to pick up to 10% in 2015.
Highlighting the areas of opportunity, he stated that these included food processing, infrastructure development, education, skill development and human resource development. He stated that 18 companies had already invested in India and hoped that many more would follow.
"Côte d'Ivoire was a land of opportunities with plenty of natural resources like manganese, gold and chromium as well as very fertile agricultural land," said Ambassador Dinesh Bhatia, Ambassador of India to Ivory Coast.
He stated that a sign of the return of peace and stability to the country was that the African Development Bank had reinstated Abidjan as its headquarters. He pointed out that promoting bilateral economic relations between India and icvory Coast was a priority of the Government of India and a Lines of Credit worth US$ 160 million had already been extended to Côte d'Ivoire and over 85 students had been trained under the ITEC programme.