Ram Nath Kovind India’s president since 2017 arrived in Djibouti on Tuesday on the first leg of his four-day visit to Djibouti and Ethiopia. The president’s maiden trip abroad since taking office is set to open new collaboration opportunities between the two countries.

During his visit, Mr Ram Nath is expected to sign agreements on institutionalization of foreign office consultation and greater economic cooperation with Ethiopia. The Africa and Indian Ocean region are central to Indian foreign policy. That is why this region was chosen as his first foreign visit . The president’s visit comes in the backdrop of Chinese PLA troops conducting their first live-fire military drills overseas on their base in strategically-vital Djibouti last month, in a major combat display.

the president is expected to sign agreements on institutionalisation of foreign office consultation and greater economic cooperation with Ethiopia. India’s bilateral trade with Djibouti stands at USD 284 million in 2016-17. India has extended a line of credit of USD 49 million to Djibouti, mainly for constructing a cement plant.