Complimenting the African nations on successfully concluding the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Commerce and Industry, Government of India stated that India would negotiate a FTA with the AfCFTA which will be unique in nature and will be beneficial to Africa needs. The Minister was addressing the Inaugural Session of the 13th CII – Exim Bank Conclave on India – Africa Project Partnership being organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry in cooperation with the Exim Bank of India, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi today.
The Minister was of the view that while bilateral trade between India and Africa was of the order of USD 53 billion, this was far below potential and efforts needed to be made to step up the volume of trade as well as diversify the trade basket. In this connection, he highlighted that his Ministry was revamping export insurance and the Project Export Promotion Council to provide the much needed boost to India’s exports to Africa. In addition, the Government was seeking to set up a new India – Africa Development Fund which would seek to synergise the Lines of Credit as well as other export promotion and development programmes to bring about a more holistic development of the continent.
He also highlighted the need for Indian companies to invest in Africa and stated that it was for this reason that the Asia – Africa Growth Corridor was being developed. In addition, the Minister highlighted the government’s intention to strengthen connectivity links with Africa especially in the area of Civil Aviation.
March 25, 2018