Q Samarjit Chowdhury asked : It is being predicted that Africa is the next growth story from 2050 with its market and young age population. What is India doing to trap the virgin market of Africa for future? I believe Chinese are already started to penetrate the African market though their various policies including providing loans to the African nations.
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Replied by VIF :India-Africa have successfully developed a close partnership in terms of bilateral, regional and multilateral engagements, thus in the recent past, their relationship has scaled new heights. But India is not alone in the continent to deepen its engagement with Africa. China is Africa’s first trading partner and India stands third (after the USA). Moreover, China has extended its reach in areas like agriculture, banking, insurance, housing, information, and communication technology (ICT), and transport and logistics, where it is expected that the returns will be high and investment will be more than double in the coming years.

A new beginning in India’s approach to engage with African countries in a more constructive manner was marked after the India Africa Forum Summit, 2015 held in New Delhi. It was noted that India is the seventh largest investor in Africa with a $17 billion investment. Moreover, trade between the two has grown to $63billion 2017-18. In order to trap the relatively new market of the continent, Africa is kept on top priority as India’s investment are on the rise. India has given substantial assistance for projects in the infrastructure, power, drinking water, IT, education and health sectors. India has also extended assistance for capacity building through Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme in diverse sectors. More than eighty five Acquisition and Equity investment have been made in Africa by the Indian companies with an investment of over USD16 billion in various sectors like telecom, agriculture, energy, consumer goods, textiles, etc. India is also focusing on establishment of large, medium and SMEs in Africa which will accelerate business opportunity in the continent.

Furthermore, initiatives like providing affordable health care in Africa, developing project financing architecture in Africa,opening up of vocational training centres, upgrading the existing Pan African e-Network under the new name of e-Vidyabharti and e-Aarogybharati are steps taken by India to have greater presence in the continent. Besides, Indian e-visa facility has been extended to cover more than twenty five African countries. Issues related to connectivity is being given attention, as much more can be done by way of enhancing shipping and air-connectivity between India and Africa. Also, Indian government plans to open eighteen new embassies across the continent, is a clear indication that India is taking efforts to deepen its engagement in Africa.

Posted on January 01, 2019

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