The inaugural Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between India and Angola which was held on 11 August 2023 marked a significant step towards enhancing their diplomatic relationship. The consultations saw the participation of Shri Sevala Naik Mude, Additional Secretary (Central & West Africa Division), leading the Indian delegation, and Ambassador Esmeralda Bravo Conde Da Silva Mendonca, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leading the Angolan delegation.
During the discussions, both sides conducted an in-depth review of their existing bilateral relations. Their focus extended across several key sectors, with a mutual commitment to bolster cooperation in trade and economic relations, defence, energy, agriculture, development partnership, health and pharmaceuticals, science & technology, culture, and people-to-people ties. The dialogue also encompassed shared perspectives on regional and global concerns of joint interest. These topics ranged from cooperation in the United Nations and other multilateral forums, climate change, the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to sustainable development.
India and Angola relations are based on shared values and common vision. The high-level engagements continue to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two nations. In September 2020, the First Joint Commission Meeting that was co-chaired by the Foreign Ministers of India and Angola, had provided fresh impetus to the bilateral relations of the two countries. Both sides are keen to explore new avenues of cooperation. This meeting strengthened the bilateral relations, inspiring both sides to explore novel avenues of cooperation.
Trade between India and Angola has experienced a notable healthy growth trend over the last three years. The trade volume surged from US$ 2.14 billion during 2020-21 to US$ 4.22 billion in 2022-23. Notably, India holds the distinction of being Angola’s third-largest trading partner, accounting for approximately 10% of Angola’s external trade. India’s import from Angola is primarily driven by crude oil, which constitutes 3% of its global oil imports. Detailed deliberations took place regarding prospects for enhancing collaboration in the areas of rough diamonds trade, agriculture, food processing, and defence cooperation. Government of India’s offer of a Line of Credit (LOC) worth US$ 100 million to Angola for defence procurement was also discussed.
Both delegations agreed on the next round of consultations, which will be held in New Delhi on a mutually agreed date. Additionally, on the sidelines of the FOC, Shri Sevala Naik Mude, Additional Secretary (Central & West Africa Division), extended a courtesy call to H.E. Mr. Tete Antonio, Minister of External Relations of Angola. During this, they engaged in meaningful discussions on bilateral issues of mutual interest.