SME Times News Bureau | 09 Feb, 2019
India has strong ties with Africa for centuries,
and in recent times the development and economic partnership have become
stronger, said Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Suresh Prabhu.
Addressing the interactive session on Indo-Africa
Strategic Economic Co-operation in New Delhi, Prabhu said that the impressive
growth in trade between Africa and India stems from a mix of factors, including
a growing stock of foreign direct investment undertaken by African and Indian
corporate entities and deepening economic and political.
Other key drivers include the Government of
India’s Duty-Free Tariff Preference Scheme for Least Developed Countries
launched in 2008 which has benefitted 34 African countries, Suresh Prabhu
The Commerce Minister said that synergy that
exists between India and Africa can be gauged from the recent robust trends in
Indo-Africa trade relations. Bilateral trade between Africa and India has
increased from around USD 7 billion in 2001 to about USD 78 billion in 2014,
before moderating to USD 60 billion in 2017, reflecting a commodity price
The Minister said that while these initiatives
bode well for bilateral trade, there remains substantial untapped trade
potential. As per a joint study conducted by Exim Bank of India and
Afreximbank, the value of untapped bilateral trade potential between India and
Africa is more than USD 42 billion.
Suresh Prabhu further stated that a multi-pronged
strategy is needed to provide a more holistic and sustainable approach for
tapping this untapped potential.
He said that any strategy for enhancing bilateral
trade between Africa-India will therefore critically hinge on the scope for
value chain integrations in various manufacturing and services segments.
The Commerce Minister expressed hope that a
resurgent Africa and a rising India can create a new paradigm for South-South
He stressed on the need for right kind of
investments in Africa, focusing on accessing the market coupled with the
development of manufacturing capacities, seeking low-cost labour while focusing
on human resource development and exploring the natural resources along with
improving the infrastructural facilities.