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Last updated: 09 Feb, 2019  

Prabhu.9.Thmb.jpg India-S Africa ties strengthening: Prabhu

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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 added.

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 decline.

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 Cooperation.

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.

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