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Dakar [Senegal], October 25 (ANI): MoS V Muraleedharan, who is on an official visit to Senegal from October 24-25, attended the 8th edition of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Dakar.

Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said India strongly supports the development priorities of Africa guided by the principles laid down by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Ugandan Parliament in 2018.

Taking to Twitter, MoS wrote, "Glad to participate at the opening session of Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa, inaugurated by President of Senegal, H.E Macky Sall in Dakar. Presidents of Angola and Cabo Verde, several Ministers and high-level dignitaries were present.""The Forum has become an important place for policy discussions on sovereignty and security aspects of Africa. India strongly supports the development priorities of Africa guided by 10 principles laid down by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Ugandan Parliament in 2018," he added.

Being held annually since 2014, the Dakar Forum has become a key event for decision-makers involved in Africa. This is the first time that India is participating in the Forum at a Ministerial level, according to the statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs.

The participation of MoS in the Dakar Forum underscores the importance that India attaches to the peace, security and developmental issues concerning Africa. The visit is also in line with India's policy to intensify and deepen its engagement with Africa.

India and Senegal enjoy warm and friendly relations, sharing common values of democracy and secularism, with strong economic engagement and development cooperation. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established at the Ambassadorial level in 1962, with a resident Indian Mission in Dakar.

As per DGCIS, Government of India, statistics, Indian exports to Senegal in 2018-19 touched $ 639 mn and imports from Senegal USD 658 million.

As to the bilateral trade basket, major items of export from India include textiles, food items, automobiles and pharmaceuticals. Major items of import from Senegal are phosphoric acid and raw cashew.

India's investment is mainly in construction, tourism, retail, trading, phosphates, pharmaceuticals etc. The largest investment from India in Senegal is in the Industries Chimique du Senegal (ICS). ICS is the flagship company in Senegal which is in the business of manufacturing phosphoric acid from the rock phosphate available in plenty in Senegal. Indian companies viz. Tata Group (Tata Motors, Tata Unitech), Ashok Leyland, Kirloskar Bros, Ajanta Pharma, Sun Pharma, ShapoorjiPallonji, Kalpataru Power Transmission, KEC Ltd., Promac, SenegIndia etc are present in Senegal.

In order to increase awareness about business opportunities between India and Senegal and to inform about the opportunities available under our LoCs, this mission has organized four business events in Senegal (two in Dakar, one in Kaolack and one in Kedougou) since January 2018.

The Embassy of India also put up a KVIC Stall in the 27th edition of the annual trade event Dakar International Trade Fair (FIDAK) from November 29, 2018, to December 16, 2018.Recently, former Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu also made his visit to Senegal during his three-nation visit.

During his visit to Senegal, Naidu signed three MoUs with the West African country to further deepen bilateral partnership in various areas. (ANI)

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