New Delhi, February 7: “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 USD 60 billion in 2017. India and African countries share common interests in inclusive growth, trade and investment, and resilient economic partnerships”, said Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu while addressing the the interactive session on Indo-Africa Strategic Economic Co-operation in New Delhi.
“India has strong ties with Africa for centuries, and in recent times our development and economic partnership have become stronger. 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 ties illustrated by a number of strategic initiatives”, he added stressing at Focus Africa launched by the Government of India in 2002 to boost trade and investment between Africa and India.
Expressing a hope that a resurgent Africa and a rising India can create a new paradigm for South-South Cooperation, Prabhu focuses 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.
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 and India will therefore critically hinge on the scope for value chain integrations in various manufacturing and services segments.
Speaking on the occasion, Commerce Secretary, Anup Wadhawan said that Africa-India economic relations have grown from strength to strength over the years, and the partnership has entered a new era, underscored by stronger economic links and a mutually trusted development partnership.
India has emerged as an important development partner in the continent and the volumes of development assistance have increased manifold. African countries account for nearly 40% of operational Lines of Credit (LOC) extended by the Government of India. This increase in Indian development assistance is coming at a time when foreign aid of most developed countries has been registering a decline.