India ups Trade Target with Africa to $100 b by 2015

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India has raised the trade target with Africa to $100 billion to be achieved over the next two years encouraged by the growth in bilateral exports and imports in the current fiscal.

This is despite a dip in the country’s overall trade numbers.

“Despite the gloomy global environment, where there has been a contraction of trade, and with India’s own trade contracting with major trading blocks, we are upwardly revising the target with Africa to at least $100 billion by 2015 because I feel that it is achievable,” Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said addressing trade ministers from Africa in a ministers’ round table meeting organised by the CII.

India-Africa bilateral trade was $67 billion in 2011-12, registering a growth of 28 per cent over the preceding year. But what is interesting is the fact that in the first 10 months of this fiscal where India’s over-all trade declined 1.28 per cent, the country’s trade with Africa posted a 8.32 per cent growth.

The increase in trade with Africa is partly due to shrinking demand in the Western countries due to continuing global economic crisis and partly due to incentives given by the Government to diversify exports particularly to countries in Africa and Latin America.

India is conducting a feasibility study for a Free Trade Agreement with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) members, the largest economic group in Africa and negotiations on a Preferential Trade Agreement (an FTA involving a limited number of goods) with the South Africa Customs Union, Sharma said.


The Hindu Business Line, March 19, 2013