India can profit from African Continental commerce pact: MEA

KV Prasad 

Tribune News Service 

New Delhi, August 28

Underscoring India’s dedication in the direction of development in relations with Africa, New Delhi on Friday stated the nation’s companies may benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement that was gathering tempo.

Characterising the proposed pact as a “game changer”, Rahul Chhabra, Secretary, Economic Relations, Ministry of External Affairs, stated increasingly more African international locations have been becoming a member of the settlement and an enormous alternative may are available just a few months. Till date, 30 of the 54 international locations have ratified the settlement, he knowledgeable.

“Making Africa resilient for Indian business should be followed up by making Indian business resilient for Africa,” Chhabra stated whereas addressing a FICCI webinar attended by members of the Indian and African Diplomatic Corps. 

Stating that India is a pure match to have interaction in enterprise in a difficult atmosphere and variety in Africa, Chhabra stated 10 guiding ideas outlined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi throughout his go to to Uganda in 2018 remained a precedence.

In the previous few years, India’s concentrate on Africa led to an unprecedented 34 high-level visits, together with these by the President, Vice President and the Prime Minister.

The Secretary additionally stated India welcomed all international locations within the continent to affix the satellite tv for pc pan-Africa e-VidyaBharti and e-Aarogya tasks. For occasion, he stated, 14,000 college students enrolled in instructional scheme in Ghana inside weeks of  e-VidyaBharti beginning.

Chhabra additional stated India had opened 9 of the 18 new missions it deliberate to have in Africa and steered to the enterprise neighborhood to achieve out to the Embassy/High Commission with particular points.

During a evaluation assembly with the African Union, it was famous that India carried out over $ 6.four billion beneath the Lines of Credit dedicated/ongoing out of the general $ 10 billion made on the third India-Africa Forum Summit in 2015.

Having already held three India-Africa Forum Summits, the fourth this yr was postponed to 2021 following the outbreak of the worldwide well being pandemic.  

The bilateral commerce with Africa has been rising at a gradual tempo. From a modest US $ 5 billion in 2001 it stood at $ 69 billion just lately, recording a 12 per cent year-on-year development.

Among the key challenges confronted by India is the  stage of engagement by China with Africa. According to information on China-Africa Research Initiative, in 2018, the China-Africa bilateral commerce stood at $ 185 billion whereas Chinese funding was $ 5.four billion.

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