October 30, 2018
On the occasion of 50 years of Independence of a flourishing country on the West Central coast of Africa, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, the Embassy of Equatorial Guinea in New Delhi is hosting a reception to celebrate this iconic moment. It is the 1st official event organized by the Ambassador H.E. Manuel Mbela Bama Ndong, since establishment of the Mission in 2016. Being the 160th Diplomatic Mission in India, the Embassy aims to position Equatorial Guinea as the leading trade and investment destination for Indian enterprises on African continent.
The reception is also a celebration of strengthened relations between both countries, marked by reciprocal presidential visits in 2018, where the President of Equatorial Guinea H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo was a part of the first International Solar Alliance Summit held in March 2018. Based on an extended invitation, just within 1 month, the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind visited Equatorial Guinea, discovering the country during his 3-day visit. At that time, the highest civilian award was conferred to him by Equatorial Guinea's President is an honour for all the citizens of India.
India’s relationship with Equatorial Guinea is characterized by the strong partnership in the Oil and Gas sector. Equatorial Guinea is the fourth largest supplier of natural gas to India. Economic and commercial relations between India and Equatorial Guinea have proliferated in the last few years. The scheduled opening of the Embassy of India in Malabo will only increase business ties between countries. A few of India’s exports to Equatorial Guinea consists of items such as food products, cereals, meat, pharmaceuticals, machinery, apparel etc. While India primarily imports Oil & Gas and timber from Equatorial Guinea, there are multiple untapped opportunities in processing of coconut, cocoa, coffee, rubber, palm, groundnut oil and others.
In the words of H.E. Manuel Mbela Bama Ndong, who has been serving as an Ambassador for last 16 years: “It is an essential component of my work to promote investment in Equatorial Guinea and to help facilitating trade and commerce – where there are indeed vast untapped opportunities. Equatorial Guinea occupies an advantageous position on African continent, which relations with Asian countries are increasing. This has helped Equatorial Guinea to position itself in the region as the gateway to Africa and as an important logistics hub, profiting foreign enterprises and the country."
Equatorial Guinea, the only Spanish speaking country in Africa, possesses a robust network of high-quality roads of more than 1000 km, 5 airports and 5 ports which confirm the success of the development plan Horizon 2020. Both domestic infrastructures, its ports and airports have poised Equatorial Guinea as a geo-economical gateway to CEMAC zone, which enables the free movement of goods and services from Equatorial Guinea to Cameroon, Gabon, Chad, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic, as well as allows for a potential linkage to other major African markets.
This explains the construction of the highway from the coastal city of Bata to Mongomo, the last town on the border with Gabon allowing agile and safe passage of large volumes of goods from the port of Bata. The modernized port of Bata alone now has a capacity for 6 million tons and over 250,000 containers per year. The ports of Bata and Malabo, the capital city have become key trade assets for Western Central Africa.
The National Day Reception will not only celebrate 50th anniversary of Independence Day, but will also begin a new phase in Equatorial Guinea – India relations, benefiting local communities, enterprises and both nations.