Djibouti in talks with GMR to develop airport

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Hyderabad: African nation Djibouti is looking at closer ties with India. To explore the opportunities between the nations, an India Djibouti Trade Forum has been organised in Hyderabad on Friday. As a part of this forum, Djibouti’s representatives have begun talks with GMR Group to build an airport in that nation.

An eight-member delegation from Djibouti comprising government and industry representatives have visited. In addition to GMR, Djibouti is exploring other collaborations. The delegation has signed a MoU for co-operation in agriculture with Indo African Ventures, development of a boutique hotel with Holiday Inn and development of skill development courses in the defence sector with Don Bosco Tech Society. The delegation is led by Bourhan Aref, representative from Djibouti for India-Djibouti trade ties.

India’s President Ramnath Kovind visited Djibouti last year and has pledged commitment of support between the two nations for a robust partnership.

Narender Bharti, president, India Djibouti Trade Forum, said, “My goal is to build bilateral relations between India and the Republic of Djibouti.”

The Forum’s VP Saba Fatima said, “Djibouti, being the only gateway to Africa with three ports, has a great potential and we would like to divert business interests from the Middle East to Djibouti and want Indian businesses to connect the two nations.”

A 20-member delegation from Hyderabad is expected to visit Djibouti in May this year to explore joint ventures and collaborations in agriculture, defence, hospitality, education and sports development.

The bilateral trade between India and Djibouti stood at $284.54 million in 2016-17, out of which India’s exports to Djibouti were at $281.71 million and imports were at $2.82 million.

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