Indo-African trade expected to get a mega boost

The India-Africa trade relations has considerably improved its footprint. As a result of a number of India-Africa trade summits held in New Delhi. According to trade and civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu, India now seeks out investors and markets in the entire African continent over the next few months. 

Mr. Prabhu indicated to reporters that his delegation was going to South Africa and other nations in the vicinity by the end of the month. He was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), Global linker, exporter's business networking portal.

An Indian Commerce ministry delegation, headed by Mr. Prabhu and the Indian Commerce and Industries secretary Ms.Rita Teotia, had visited East Africa last month. The visit is said to have received considerable success with a lot of interest for doing business with India.

“A lot of other countries have interest in Africa, but still they want to do business with India,” Prabhu said. “We will meet business leaders and trade minister’s in Africa to promote Indian exports,” he added.

The minister announced that many more similar trade delegations will be visiting north, west and central Africa to boost domestic trade with the African continent.

Indian trade benefits African economies in a major way, with companies participating in high impact exhibitions like the upcoming Kenya International Trade Exhibition and the 21st Buildexpo Tanzania which help in showcasing the high quality products engineered and manufactured in India. Market strategy studies have shown that Indian companies participating in trade fairs create widespread visibility and brand value for products and services made in India.

While Africa is a key partner for the South Asian giant, the Indian government states that it is also commited to working with US at all levels on the issue of the Trump administration's decision to seek review of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), under which Indian exporters get duty-free market access for about 3,500 products to the US.

While having the largest trade surplus with the US, India's IT exports alone accounting for $120 billion every year. The US and Indian trade officials have had a number of meetings with each other since the WTO mini-ministerial held in New Delhi last month. India is learnt to have impressed on the US trade authorities that it is not a major exporter of steel and aluminium.

Without wanting to disclose details of the engagements Mr. Prabhu said,  “Protecting India's commercial interest is the only driving force behind our engagements with the US,”.

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