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Commerce Ministry to formulate an action plan to boost trade with Africa

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 currently.

 

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