The relations of India with the other countries of the world are very important in term of IAS Preparation. Under the topic International relations, the IAS aspirants have to study the trade and commerce, cultural exchanges between India and other nations of the world. Here, we have provided an analysis of India-Mozambique relation, much helpful for IAS Preparation.
Q1: How it is justified to say that Mozambique is emerging as India’s 21st century partner in Africa?
Q2: How is the Mozambique’s strategic location on the Indian Ocean a perfect fit into New Delhi’s drive to build strong security relations with key littoral nations?
India has strong bilateral relationship among African Nations – Mozambique is one of them. Mozambique considered as the gateway for Indians to invest into Africa. Once India helped Mozambique during their civil war of the 1980s with South Africa - backed RENAMO movement in which Indian Navy with INS Godavari encountered with South African strike craft.
Due to its strategic location in Indian Ocean, India has plan to continue its relation with Mozambique and has an ambition to make Mozambique as one of the top two or three sources of energy imports for India and military partners among African nations.
Recently India has invested around $32 billion in total on the African continent, out of which Mozambique alone accounts for $8 billion with most investments in the energy sector. Indian companies with investments in Mozambique include Tata Steel, JSPL, JSW, Essar, Midwest Africa, Coal India Ltd and Sunflag Group in coal mining; Damodar Ferro in iron-ore mining; Essar in port development; and Pure Diets, Rajarambapu Group, HK Jalan Group and Asian Tea company in agriculture.
In a recent agreement with Mozambique, India has signed a pact to develop and produce 690,000 tonnes of pulses over a five-year period from 2016 to 2021. In beginning of the financial year 2016-17, India will import 100,000, 75,000, 175,000, 150,000 and 200,000 tonnes in each of the five years.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mozambique fits into India's resolve to improve the production of pulses in some African countries to meet the demand in India.
Apart from the export and production agreement for pulses, the MoU also has the provision for providing assistance to solve climate change problems in some African countries that are benefiting from India's pulse development programme.
The Union Cabinet on 20 July 2016 approved signing of the Air Services Agreement between India and Mozambique. Till now, there was no Air Services Agreement between India and Mozambique. In order to promote the air connectivity between the two countries, the two sides initiated the process of consultation in 2011 to finalize the text of Air Services Agreement.
Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement: It was signed between India and Mozambique on 19 February, 2009 which came into effect from 23 September of the same year. The agreement results into the creation of favourable conditions for fostering investment by investors of one state into the territory of other state. Both the nation agreed upon to provide protection under the agreement and the investment will be the conducive to the simulation of individual business initiative and will increase prosperity in both the aggrieved nations.
Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement: The agreement was signed between India and Mozambique on 30th September 2010 which came in to the effect from 28th February 2011. The agreement was for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and with a view to promote economic cooperation between the two nations.
Exchange of Visits: Over the years, the leadership of both the countries have maintained the friendly and cordial relationship by high level exchanges in various fields. Samora Machel, the firs President of Mozambique paid a state visit to India in 1982, which was reciprocated by Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi in April 1982.
Cultural Exchanges: Over the past few centuries a significant number of people of Indian origin have been recognised among Mozambique population which strengthened the cultural relations between the two countries. The artist from India like Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Flutist and Shri M S Gopalakrishnan, Violinist visited Mozambique in 1992-93; Raja & Radha Reddy in September 1995; and a 5-member Bharatnatyam dance troupe led by Ms Susheela Mehta in May 2009.
A seven-member artistic group from Mozambique visited India to participate in the Pan-African Festival of Dance and Music held in Goa in January 2006. At the invitation of ICCR, a Mozambican writer attended the International Literacy Conference “Continents of Creation: Legacy, Identity, Assertion” held in New Delhi and in Rajasthan in February 2010.
Bilateral Trade Relations
Past few years, the commercial and economic relations between India and Mozambique have been improved significantly.
The major items of Indian exports to Mozambique are – petroleum products, drugs/pharmaceuticals, rice (other than basmati), machinery and instruments, transport equipment, cotton yarn/fabrics, manufactures of metals, plastic & linoleum products, primary & semi-finished iron & steel, paper/wood products, man-made yarn/fabrics/made-ups, wheat, rubber manufactured products, electronic goods, inorganic/organic agro chemicals, glassware, sugar, processed minerals, paints/enamels, misc. processed items etc.
The main exports from Mozambique to India in the past have been pulses, raw cashew, coconut, metal ores and scrap metal etc. However, this order has now changed and Coal/coke has become the number one item of export from the financial year 2012-13 for the first time from Mozambique to India.
Africa remained in the priority list of India as far as the economic and security concern. The region is known for its highly rich available natures. Six out of ten fastest growing economies of the world are located in this African region.
As per the data, India is Africa’s fourth largest trading partner, with trade turnover of $72 billion during the financial year 2014-15. Mozambique is one of such strong economic partner for India among African nations can never be ignored. India finds a better future in the partnership with Mozambique by which both the countries can be better off if they continue to maintain their existing ties.
Apart from the trade and commerce relation with the Mozambique and other African nations. The support from African countries is critical for India while negotiating for the bid of permanent membership of UN Security Council seat, UN reforms and climate change.