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AfCFTA presents huge opportunities for India : Exim Bank

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NEW DELHI : India Exim Bank’s study titled “Building a Resilient Africa: Enhanced Role of India” finds huge trade complementarity between India and Africa. India’s total trade with Africa stood at $ 82.5 billion in 2021, recording the highest ever level witnessed by both regions.

Using ITC’s export potential methodology, the study finds bilateral export potential of India and Africa at $ 48 billion. The paper also examined the evolution of India’s development cooperation with Africa over the years and emphasised the need for India to step up efforts to enhance this developmental partnership, especially in the context of changing global architecture in recent times. To understand geographical and sectoral distribution of India’s project exports to Africa, contracts secured by Indian project exporters in projects awarded by the MDBs like the AfDB, and the World Bank have also been analysed.

The study further recommends strategies to enhance India’s role in building a post pandemic resilient Africa and assist it to rebound to its earlier high growth trajectory and exports through increased collaboration in potential sectors like agriculture, healthcare, and renewable energy, among others. The study also recommends exploring alternate mechanisms for infrastructure financing and addressing the existing trade finance gap.

The study was released during the 17th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India – Africa Growth Partnership recently, in the presence of Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Government of India; Marie Cyril Eddy Boissezon, GOSK, Vice President, Republic of Mauritius; Badara A. Joof, Vice-President, Republic of The Gambia; Dr. James Wani Igga, Vice-President, Republic of South Sudan; W.K. Mutale Nalumango, Vice President, Republic of Zambia; Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Republic of Namibia; Harsha Bangari, Managing Director, India Exim Bank.

Addressing the participants during the inaugural session of the Conclave, Goyal, emphasised that India looks at Africa as partner in progress, with India-Africa partnership best described through four pillars – people, business, trade and government. He has underlined that Africa-India partnership will play a very important role going forward and lead the developing world out of food insecurity and bring prosperity.

In her address, Bangari, Managing Director, India Exim Bank, highlighted that bridging gaps in trade finance could unlock the latent export potential of India and Africa and can increase the share in global export participation of both regions. She underscored the increased role of multilateral development banks (MDBs) and development finance institutions (DFIs) in providing measures to reduce the trade finance gap.

Bangari stressed that India needs to be dynamic in its engagements in Africa and address the changing needs of the Continent, while emphasising the huge opportunity African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement presents for India.

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