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Indian commerce ministry to boost trade with Africa

May '19
Pic: Frans Van Heerden from Pexels
Pic: Frans Van Heerden from Pexels
The Indian commerce ministry and Indian high commissions and embassies in African countries recently arranged a two-day interaction over video conference with the Indian diaspora business community in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Mozambique, Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, and Madagascar to engage them to boost India-Africa trade ties.

The interaction sessions were attended by over 400 businessmen, according to a ministry press release.

India’s total trade with the African region during 2017-18 was $62.69 billion, which was 8.15 per cent of the country’s total trade with the world. India’s share of exports to African countries as a percentage of India’s total exports to the world was 8.21 per cent in 2017-18. The African region’s share in India’s total imports from the world accounted for 8.12 per cent in the same fiscal.

The current strength of the Indian diaspora in the African countries is 2.8 million out of those 2.5 million hole the People of Indian Origin (PIO) card and the rest are non-resident Indians. The Indian diaspora in Africa constitutes 9.11 per cent of the total Indian diaspora.

The major issues highlighted during the session were improving the line of credit system and developing a facility for an affordable and competitive funding, setting up of Indian banks and financial institutions in Africa, enhanced buyers’ credit facility for promotion of trade, reviewing and liberalising visa policies from both sides, need for direct flights between India and African countries and exploring the possibility of rupee trade to address the issue of shortage of dollars in the region.

Other issues include creation of a common database of buyer-suppliers in the two regions for facilitating matchmaking for enhancement of trade, development of a robust trade dispute settlement mechanism and establishment of country chapters of Indian industry chambers in Africa. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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