India wants to more than double trade with Africa

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Jacob Zuma in South AfricaWikipedia
The government on Monday said it would hold a conclave on India-Africa project partnerships with an aim to more than double the bilateral trade volume to $150 billion from the current $62 billion in the next few years.

"Scaling up India-Africa bilateral trade volume to $150 billion in the next few years" is the top objective of the upcoming three-day conclave beginning here on March 17, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.

More than 31 senior ministers from 21 African countries apart from business delegates from 37 countries would participate in the event being organised by the Ministry in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the EXIM Bank of India.

"The conclave will mark the pre-eminence of India-Africa partnership in the area of ‘South-South Cooperation' at a time when the global economy is faced with intractable challenges that stem from rising protectionism and trade conflicts," the statement said.

India-Africa bilateral partnership is augmented by India's ascendency as the fastest growing major economy, as well as Africa's new economic dynamism illustrated by some of the sub-Saharan economies which are among the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world, the Ministry said.

"The conclave coheres into the Indian government's broader vision of long-term engagement with Africa," it added.

The government's commitment to expanding the India-Africa economic partnership is evident from the rise in bilateral trade between India and Africa by nearly 22 per cent to $62.66 billion in 2017-18.

Other long-term goals and objectives that would guide the deliberations include encouraging Indian exporters to access the African countries, enhancing manufacturing exports to Africa and expanding Indian investments in various sectors in Africa.

B2B meetings are expected to be held on more than 500 project proposals from Africa at the conclave, which will be attended by Ghana Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, Guinea Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana and Lesotho Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki.
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