The Commerce Ministry has decided to formulate a
comprehensive action plan to boost India’s trade with Africa which is
“relatively” small at present, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said.
A series of engagements have been lined up in
different parts of Africa to discuss ways to promote trade and investments
between the two regions, he said.
“As part of our strategy to explore new markets,
we are constantly engaging with Africa where there is huge scope for
exports...We have decided to prepare an action plan to boost exports and
imports from Africa,” the minister said according to media reports.
To strengthen the dialogue on trade and
investments, “The commerce ministry has divided the African continent into five
parts s - east, west, and north, south and central in an effort to strengthen
measures to improve trade commerce and investment, Prabhu said.
Deliberations have been completed in the Eastern
part of the continent and soon similar engagements would be organized in places
including Algeria and Nigeria in the west, he added.
“The idea is to discover new markets. We are
meeting them regularly... Trade is relatively very small with Africa,” Prabhu
said. With India’s exports growing at a relatively slower rate, Africa holds
huge potential to boost exports.
“India has lot of prospects in Africa. We need to
increase our engagement with the continent. We have not yet exploited that
fully as compared to China, which
has huge presence, according to trade experts.
Prabhu has earlier pitched for a free trade
agreement with Africa to boost economic ties between the two regions. The
commerce between India and the African countries is about USD 52 billion