India is now Africa&’s fourth largest trade partner after the European Union, China and the USA. India&’s trade with Africa has increased from $20 billion in 2006-07 to $55 billion in 2011-12
statesman news service
KOLKATA, 24 JUNE: A high-level delegation of corporate leaders has left for South Africa, Zambia and Kenya today to showcase the strength and potential of eastern India and explore investment opportunities there. The business mission organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (eastern region) looks towards strengthening business partnership and cooperation between India and Africa.
India is now Africa&’s fourth largest trade partner after the European Union, China and the USA.
At a time when countries across post-colonial Africa are looking for capital, technologies and expertise from across the globe, the 11-day mission also intends to showcase the inherent strength and potential of the five eastern states ~ West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
The objective of the 17-member delegation is also to build a strong framework for B2B meetings.
The sectors in focus include manufacturing, mining, healthcare, ICT, tourism, said Mr Sudhir Deoras, chairman, CII (eastern region).
“Africa is being hailed as a continent of opportunities. Among the big Indian companies doing business in Africa are the Tatas, Ranbaxy and Bharti Airtel, in sectors such as automobile, engineering, IT, telecom and pharmaceutical,” said Mr Deoras, who is also the managing director of TRF Limited, a Tata group company. With a GDP growth of more than five per cent, Africa is fast becoming alluring for Indian businesses, both in terms of trade and investment. India&’s trade with Africa has increased from $20 billion in 2006-07 to $55 billion in 2011-12. The present mission is expected to go a long way in ensuing that Indo-African bilateral trade reaches the projected volume of $90 billion by 2015.
“That is an eminently achievable target because both India and Africa have globalised their economies. In fact, seven of the fastest growing economies in the world are now in Africa. This mission will attempt to establish deeper and stronger linkages with Africa, particularly these three countries,” said Mr Deoras.
“In our assessment, Indian companies could play a vital role in Africa&’s attempt to ensure food and energy security, high-end manufacturing growth, R&D, and value-addition to its key industries. This mission will certainly help enhance the spirit of cooperation and create a strong platform to forge deeper ties,” he added.
Mr Saugat Mukherjee, regional director, CII (ER), said the CII team will begin its mission from South Africa where the delegation members will hold interactive sessions with the Indian High Commissioner and CEOs in Johannesburg before joining a meeting with senior officials of Rand Merchant Bank and First Rand Bank. In South Africa, the CII delegation will also interact with the members of the ANC Progressive Business Forum.