A fortnightly Indian English-language news magazine called 'India today' expressed that in the next five years, India's two-way trade with Africa would reach USD 150 billion from currently USD 52 billion.
C R Chaudhary, the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry said the current level of trade is broadly seen as way below the potential.
To boost trade between the two regions, he asked the African region to meticulously utilise the Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) scheme.
The scheme discloses that the import of almost all products from least developed countries (LDCs) to Inda, attracts zero or lower duties.
The minister said at the CII-EXIM Bank Conclave, "I am confident that India-Africa bilateral trade can touch USD 150 billion in the next five years. To begin with, trade can increase sharply if African LDCs can optimise use of the facility of DFTP,"
He believes that African exports can be enhanced through value addition and targeted promotion strategies and that huge investment potential exists in African region in areas such as energy, infrastructure, agriculture and IT.
African businesses were called upon by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia for greater utilization of the scheme to promote trade.
She said that as of February this year, EXIM (export-import) bank has approved about 167 lines of credit worth USD 10 billion of projects to 40 African countries.
However, the secretary made a case for creating an enabling policy framework for fast implementation of projects.
Uganda Vice President Edward Ssekandi, in seeking Indian investments, stated that there are huge opportunities in sectors like infrastructure, energy and manufacturing.