A Message from His Excellency Gabriel Mbaga OBIANG LIMA
The Governments of Equatorial Guinea and India have been strongly committed to boosting ties between both countries. Last October, Equatorial Guinea President, H.E. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, issued directives to execute a cooperation that would have a lasting effect on the political and economic fronts.
Following a visit to India last week by the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy (MMIE), we are proud that we have made the first critical step in fulfilling that mandate. Ahead of the India-Africa Hydrocarbons Conference, which was hosted by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas of India in Delhi, the MMIE signed a memorandum of understanding with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited for a comprehensive cooperation that could extend to multiple areas of the oil and gas industry. The agreement was the result of several weeks of bilateral negotiations and is the foundation for future discussions that will take place in the coming weeks to reach further agreements.
On January 22, 2016, the MMIE was proud to host the Equatorial Guinea-India Hydrocarbons & Industry Forum in New Delhi, where we welcomed a great number of trade partners to introduce our country and showcase what we have to offer. As I have said many times before, Equatorial Guinea is a small country with big ambitions. For us, it was a top priority to communicate our vision for developing our economy and extend to Indian investors an open invitation to take part in those opportunities.
A centerpiece of our long-term economic plan, Horizon 2020, is the industrialization of Equatorial Guinea. Thanks to oil and gas revenues, we have quickly developed our economy and built modern infrastructure that is the envy of many African countries. Today we turn our attention to diversifying our economy and improving societal welfare through the industrialization masterplan PEGI 2020 and opening several avenues of trade cooperation in such sectors as agriculture and forestry; fishing and aquaculture; tourism and financial services; and energy.
Equatorial Guinea has a long and distinguished history of cooperation with Asian economies. India has been a significant importer of our crude petroleum and we hope this serves as a platform to increase trade and bring more Indian enterprises to work in our country. Equatorial Guinea and India are united in the common purpose to open our economies and create bigger and better opportunities. Let us use those shared interests to build a long-lasting partnership, one that is rooted in equal benefit and improving the quality of life of our people. My Ministry has an open door policy for potential investors, ideas, projects or constructive criticism. In the spirit of that collaboration, the Government of Equatorial Guinea is making it easier than ever for India to reach our country. We made the initial steps to open our first embassy in India. We sincerely hope the Government of India reciprocates on our offer.
To everyone who participated in the forum, I want to thank you for your incredible support. This event would have never been successful without your active support and participation.
Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima
Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy