September 18, 2012
New Delhi

PM’s media statement during State Visit of President of the Republic of Burundi to India

It’s a great honour to welcome President Nkurunziza to India on his first state visit to India.

India and Burundi enjoy warm and friendly relations. Our official exchanges, trade and investment linkages and people-to-people interactions are growing steadily. Earlier today, President Nkurunziza and I reviewed our relations and we have agreed to further promote and expand our ties in an all-round manner.

The Memorandums of Understanding signed today in the fields of rural development, education, health and medicine will enable our two countries to undertake structured cooperation in these vital areas of human development, where India’s experience can be of some relevance to Burundi.

There is also great potential to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment relations. I requested President Nkurunziza to facilitate Indian investment in agriculture, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors in line with Burundi’s national development goals and policies.

India has also contributed to the development of Burundi’s human resources through the pan- African e-network project, training programmes and scholarships. Burundi will be hosting the India-Africa Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, a Vocational training Centre and Cluster of Biomass Gasifier Systems offered by India under the India-Africa Forum Summit initiative for capacity building and development. India is also setting up an Information and Technology Centre of Excellence there. I hope these institutions will be operational soon and benefit not only our friends from Burundi but the whole of Africa.

India is committed to the development of infrastructure in Burundi. In addition to the US$ 80 million line of credit for the important Kabu hydroelectric project currently under operation, we have agreed to extend a new line of credit worth over US$ 40 million to Burundi for a farm mechanization and food processing project.

We also exchanged views on regional and global issues, including our fight against the common threat of piracy and the urgent need for reform of the United Nations Security Council. India deeply appreciates Burundi’s support for its candidature as a permanent member of the reformed and expanded Security Council.

This visit of President Nkurunziza has imparted a fresh impetus to our joint efforts to strengthen our bilateral relations. With these words, I am confident that our ties will make rapid progress in coming years.

I thank you.