Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bilateral trade between India, Africa hits $90b in 2015

The bilateral trade between India and Africa for 2015 has been put at $90billion, about N17.91trillion which has prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to send 15 ministers to the continent, reports ITRealms.

In tandem with robust businessThe Ministers of States (MoSs) designated as special envoys will travel to 53 African countries with invitation for a summit in Africa to be hosted by India

India and Africa together account for a huge market of 2.2 billion people with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than $3 trillion, about N597trillion with India being Africa’s fourth-largest trading partner, ITRealms gathered.

It is envisaged that food security is a common concern of both India and Africa. Most parts of Africa are endowed with fertile lands and water resources. The challenge lies in harnessing these natural resources to usher in a Green Revolution across the continent even as Africa’s farm sector is expected to grow to the tune of $1 trillion about N199 trillion by 2030, although this growth will largely depend on adequate technology infusion.

India can meet its food needs with imports from Africa, especially pulses, where India faces a huge shortfall. A large number of people in East African countries, such as Kenya, work in the cultivation of tea, coffee, corn, vegetables, sugarcane, wheat and fruits, among other things.

The Indian government, ITRealms learnt, acts as a facilitator to the whole process rather than the main player. It is supporting the conventional new green field foreign direct investments; merger and acquisition purchases of existing firms; public-private partnerships; specific tariff reductions on agricultural goods imported to India through the negotiation of regional bilateral trade and investment treaties, and double taxation (avoidance) agreements.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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