India is open to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with African countries bilaterally or Africa as a whole, according to Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal.
The minister on Thursday night hosted a reception for 15 ambassadors from various countries of the Africa region in New Delhi.
During the interaction, Goyal said India and Africa share a remarkable friendship across decades and have the potential of becoming the powerhouse of the future. The event was aimed at fostering closer economic cooperation, enhancing trade relations and exploring areas of collaboration between India and Africa.
He welcomed the ambassadors and highlighted the significant value of the India-Africa relationship. He emphasised the commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards making Africa a top priority and deepening India’s engagement with the continent on a sustained and regular basis. He encouraged the heads of missions to work in solidarity and extended a hand of friendship for the growth of the African and the Indian subcontinent.
The minister reiterated that this was the beginning of a new engagement and reaffirmed that India would act as a trusted partner to expand trade, commerce, business, investment and opportunities with African countries.
The event witnessed the participation of ambassadors from key African nations namely Algeria, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, the Republic of Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe. It provided a unique platform for diplomatic representatives to engage in fruitful discussions, strengthen bilateral ties, and forge new partnerships for mutual growth and development.
India and Africa share a long-standing history and a strong cultural bond. The African continent presents vast opportunities for Indian businesses, with its rapidly growing population, emerging middle class, and abundant natural resources. Through increased trade and investment, both India and Africa can benefit from each other’s strengths and expertise, fostering inclusive growth and job creation.
In addition to economic aspects, the gathering emphasised the significance of cultural exchanges, people-to-people connections, and strategic collaborations between India and Africa.