India-Africa trade to reach $90b

NEW DELHI - India-Africa trade partnership is expected to reach $90 billion by 2015.

This was said at 9th session of the Confederation of India Industry (CII)-Exim Bank Conclave held in New Delhi India.

Exim Bank CEO, TCA Ranganathan said his organisation is ready to engage individual countries in establishing win-win trade partnerships.

“India-Africa trade has grown from $3 billion in 2000 to $65 billion in 2012,” he said.

Ranganathan said the partnership between India and Africa was based on mutually-beneficial South to South engagements which look at long-term benefits for both India and Africa.

“India is the 4th largest trade partner with Africa, and covers areas such as consumer goods, telecommunications and minerals”, he said.

“We look forward to taking our bilateral relations with Africa to another level and we want our trade basket to cover value added goods, tourism as well as strong economic cooperation, which can bring more benefits to both countries,” he added.

India’s minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur said her ministry is exploring other innovative models of partnerships with local businesses and industry in a bid to combine development assistance with commercial perspectives to create assets with a large developmental impact on partner countries.

She bemoaned trade imbalances between partner countries and stressed that her government is looking at ways to improve African industries for them to be able to earn more from exporting processed goods.

“There has been a five-fold surge in Indian investment in Africa since 2000, and we know by working
together, India and Africa can set an example of successful partnerships among development countries.

“India has also expanded its trade focus to include infrastructure development which has seen $10 billion being availed to Africa”, she said.

She emphasised the growth in pharmaceuticals trade and said the country was determined to help Africa in its endeavour to make affordable drugs available to all.

“Currently our pharmaceuticals exports to Africa are set to reach $25 billion and our aim is to make sure drugs become available and affordable in Africa,” she said.

Speaking at the event, Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube stressed the importance of the annual meet, which has been held since 2008, as it offers systematic and focused approach to promote India investment in Africa.

In an interview with the Daily News, Ncube said Zimbabwe stands to benefit much from India.

He added that the two countries are looking at ways to advance trade areas to include technological advancement. - Viniel Deredza in India

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