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India was Gabon’s inspiration to open Special Economic Zone: Gabon Ambassador to India

HE Desire Koumba

India and Gabon have enjoyed warm and friendly relations dating back to pre-independence era of the Central African country. Gabon has always supported India’s candidature at various international forums.

Gabon has always showed interest to enhance relations with India, seeking investments from Indian companies, mainly after its economy was hit hard due to the global decrease in oil prices and political upheaval over the 2016 presidential elections.

Going in the same direction, Gabon recently opened its Special Economic Zone. The place, which seeks Indian companies setting up workplaces for their businesses, is located 18 kms from the country’s capital.

Speaking about the same, HE Desire Koumba, Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary, Embassy of Gabon in India, shared how India was there inspiration for the SEZ. He was speaking at the recently held ‘Elets National Manufacturing innovation Summit’, in Delhi.

“Some of the bank officials visited India, especially state of Gujarat and it was Gujarat that gave us the impetus to try and create this special economic zone as part of the efforts that we will be making to make Gabon a business friendly country,” Koumba said.

“The special economic zone was also created to draw the attention of Indian industry. You will ask me why India? For a long time we had these monopolistic partners and since the arrival of the new president, we decided to diversify our economy and hence diversify our partners also. India being one of the emerging economies of the future super powers of the world, we had to lay emphasis on India,” he added.

The zone not just provides better logistics and paper work, but also promises no devaluation. “We very much encourage the industrialists who are interested to do business with in the special economic zone because there they are exempted from various taxes,” the ambassador said.

Koumba also stressed on the good relations it shares with India and its intention to improve them further. “We are proud to inform that today Gabon is home to 48 Indian companies which are established in the country. Some of them come and go, but we have 40+ companies that are established and they are very happy to do their business in the country,” he added.

HE Desire Koumba, Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary, Embassy of Gabon in India thanks Elets Technomedia for inviting diplomatic representative from Africa to the recently held ‘Elets National Manufacturing innovation Summit’, in Delhi. He also talked about how important were India-Africa relations for both the countries.

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