External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Tuesday said that India is among the top five countries that have invested in the African continent.
“With cumulative investments at $73.9 billion from 1996-2021, India is among the top five investors in Africa,” Jaishankar said while addressing the 17th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Growth Partnership.
He said that India’s bilateral trade with Africa has now reached $89.5 billion in 2021-22 compared with $56 billion the previous year. “Notably, through the Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme that extends duty free access to 98.2 per cent of India’s total tariff lines, India has opened its market to African countries. So far 33 LDC African nations have been entitled to get benefits under this scheme.”
“We hope that the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) which was commenced in 2021 would be helpful to Indian companies to enhance and intensify the business footprint in Africa,” he said.
Jaishankar noted that in India, there is a growing recognition of the need of Atma Nirbharta (self-reliance). “Responsible governance today requires that critical needs of people are not held hostage by the vagaries and uncertainties of international markets. Food security and energy security have come into special focus in the context of the Ukraine conflict. Here too, India and Africa can work together for mutual benefit,” the minister added.