Indo-Africa interaction aims to boost trade ties

India’s historic ties with Africa have attained new strengths over the past four years owing to improving diplomatic and economic partnership. India and African countries share common aspirations in inclusive growth, trade, investment and resilient economic partnerships

February 6, 2019

The growth in India-Africa trade has been driven by deepening economic and political ties illustrated by initiatives such as “Focus Africa” and the Duty-Free Tariff Preference Scheme for Least Developed Countries

India has also forwarded concessional credit of US$10 billion to Africa for 2015-20; Indian firms have invested over US$54 billion in Africa so far, and trade with the continent recently marked a jump of over 21 per cent

As per Export–Import Bank of India and African Export–Import Bank, the value of untapped trade amid India and Africa was more than US$42 billion; Indian firms have invested over US$54 billion in Africa so far

To further drive relationship, India is opening of 18 new diplomatic missions in Africa over the period spanning 2018-2021. The move will increase the number of Resident Indian Missions in Africa from 29 to 47

India’s historic ties with Africa have attained new strengths over the past four years owing to improving diplomatic and economic partnership. India and African countries share common aspirations in inclusive growth, trade, investment and resilient economic partnerships. This was stated by Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu while addressing an interactive session on Indo-Africa Strategic Economic Co-operation in New Delhi on February 6. To further drive relationship, India is opening of 18 new diplomatic missions in Africa over a four-year period spanning 2018-2021. The move will increase the number of Resident Indian Missions in Africa from 29 to 47.

The growth in trade between Africa and India has been driven by rising FDI undertaken by African and Indian corporate entities as well as deepening economic and political ties illustrated by initiatives such as “Focus Africa” and the Duty-Free Tariff Preference Scheme for Least Developed Countries. India has also forwarded concessional credit of US$10 billion to Africa for 2015-20. Bilateral trade between Africa and India has risen from around US$7 billion in 2001 to about US$78 billion in 2014, before easing to US$60 billion in 2017, reflecting commodity price decline. Indian firms have invested over US$54 billion in Africa so far, and trade with the continent recently marked a jump of over 21 per cent.

Mr Prabhu said that while bilateral steps bode well for trade, there remains substantial untapped scope. As per Export–Import Bank of India and African Export–Import Bank, the value of untapped trade amid India and Africa was more than US$42 billion. The commerce minister said that a resurgent Africa and a rising India can create a new paradigm for South-South Cooperation. To build on this, he stressed on the need for the right kind of investments in Africa, aiming market access 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.