Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 28
Underscoring India’s commitment towards growth in relations with Africa, New Delhi said the country’s businesses can benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement that is gathering pace.
From $5 bn to $69 bn
- From a modest $5 billion in 2001, India’s bilateral trade with Africa now stands at $69 billion, recording a 12 per cent year-on-year growth
- India has so far implemented over $6.4 billion under the Lines of Credit of the overall $10 billion committment made at the 2015 India-Africa Forum Summit
Characterising the proposed pact as a ‘game changer’ Rahul Chhabra, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs said more and more African countries were joining the agreement and a huge opportunity could come in a few months time. Till date, 30 of the 54 countries have ratified it.
“Making Africa resilient for Indian business should be followed up by making Indian business resilient for Africa,” he said, addressing a webinar on “Making Africa Resilient for Indian Business” attended by members of the Indian and African Diplomatic Corps.
Stating that India is a natural fit to engage in business in a challenging environment in Africa, he said the 10 guiding principles outlined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Uganda in 2018 remain a priority. During the past few years, India’s focus on Africa led to an unprecedented 34 high-level visits, including by the President, Vice-President and the Prime Minister.
He stated India has opened nine of the 18 new missions in Africa and suggested to the business community to reach out to the Embassy/High Commission with specific issues.