Ministers laud formation of India-Africa Business Council

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Suleiman Mustapha

Trade Ministers from the sub region have lauded the formation of an India-Africa Business Council that would strengthen and deepen economic ties between the business communities of India and Africa.

The India Africa Business Council is also expected to facilitate a consultative process to address the challenges that hinder economic and commercial relations between India and Africa and to develop a roadmap for business partnership.

This was the outcome of a meeting between the African Trade Ministers and the Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mr Anand Sharma in Addis Ababa ahead of the second Africa-India summit scheduled for May 24 to 25 at the headquarters of the African Union in Ethiopia.

A joint statement issued at the end of their business conclave, which was read by the co-chair Ms Francisca Tatchoupe Belope, who is also the Minister of Economy, Commerce and Business Development of Equatorial Guinea said “We take note of the progress that has been made in the establishment of the trade and investment linkages between India and Africa and agree and agree on the need for more efforts in this direction”.

“We hope these linkages would lead to enhanced partnerships especially in the areas of agric processing, of education, health, skills training and infrastructure”, she said.

The Ministers exchanged views on the global economic environment, noting with satisfaction the economic resilience of both India and Africa during the global economic and financial crises.

Africa’s economy expanded by 4.7 per cent in 2010 and is expected to grow at more than five per cent in the coming years, whiles the Indian economy grew at 8.6 per cent last year and is projected to grow at the rate of nine to 9.5 per cent in the next five years.

The Ministers are confident that the India Africa summit would go a long way in strengthening economic ties between the two sides.

“We agree on the need for a reform of the global economic and financial system to avoid a reoccurrence of the recent crises”, the statement said.

Africa and India together have a huge market of about 2.2 billion people with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than US$ 3 trillion in 2009. Bilateral trade between India and Africa was in excess US$ 46 billion in 2010. This, the Ministers say they are “confident that this trade will reach US$70 billion by 2015”.

“We also not with satisfaction the increase in Africa-India investments, which reached US$ 90 billion in 2010”, they emphasized.

The various trade related initiative taken by the Indian Government in Africa, such as the ‘Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme’, Cluster Development Studies and the numerous capacity building and technical assistance programmes did not escape the Ministers.

They agree that effective implementation of those initiatives will contribute to the strengthening of trade relations between Africa and India.

“We commit ourselves to work towards tapping the huge potentials for the development of integrated clusters in sectors such as agro-processing, textiles, Information technology and floriculture in Africa”.

The trade Ministers reviewed the progress of the WTO Doha negotiations and recalled the objectives set for the round.

They noted that they are “committed to the core principles of Special and Differential Treatment and obtaining more preferential treatment for all Least Developed Countries”.

The statement added that “We acknowledge the common platform shared by India with the African Group on the issue of subsidies to cotton farmers in developed countries. This is of particular importance to the four African countries of Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali and Chad who are heavily reliant on cotton as a means of livelihood

 

  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit