India, East Africa Community (EAC) to push for stronger trade ties

The INDIA EAC SUMMIT was held in New Delhi by the Indian Economic Trade Organization in conjunction with the India Africa Trade Council, and was attended by Rwandan, Tanzanian, and Ugandan High Commissioners, as well as the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to India. The goal was to strengthen bilateral commercial connections between India and the EAC member nations of Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and Kenya. The event was attended by Shri. Puneet Roy Kundal, IFS, the Joint Secretary (MEA) of the Government of India, who is in charge of the East and South Africa Division.

 
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organization with headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, that includes the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda. The Republic of Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda founded the East African Community on July 7, 2000. The republics of Rwanda and Burundi joined the community in July 2007, while the Republic of South Sudan joined in 2016. The East African Community has a total area of 2.5 million square kilometers (including water), a surface area of 1.82 million square kilometers, a population of 177 million (2019), and a combined GDP (current market values) of USD$193.7 billion (2019). With such a huge population, the EAC is both a significant market and an investment target for India.
 
“There is a lot of interest in India with Tanzania, Rwanda, and Kenya as the Investment Hub since it is a growing area with a lot of potential for international business with its industrial base. The India Africa Trade Council will open trade desks in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka focused on the EAC area to assist Indian businessmen interested in doing business in the EAC countries. These offices would interact directly with various embassies in Delhi, bringing possibilities to areas like Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad, according to Dr. Asif Iqbal, President of the Indian Economic Trae Organization.
 
“Despite the fact that Rwanda is no longer a well-kept secret, Indian firms still regard it as a practical and strategic site – and a wonderful opportunity to increase their success rate. I believe this is especially true for new market entrants into Africa, because entry barriers are low and doing business in Rwanda is simpler,” said H.E. Ms. Jacqueline Mukangira, Rwanda's High Commissioner to India, who also invited an Indian business delegation to visit Rwanda to explore more opportunities in the health sector following COVID19.
 
“According to the Ministry's Vision, India and Africa will be our top objectives, and we will continue to expand and deepen our ongoing and frequent interaction with the whole African region. Our development relationships will be directed by their goals, and we will create as much local capability and opportunity as feasible. India and the East African Community inked a cooperative action plan in August this year to enhance bilateral trade by guaranteeing speedier clearance of products, which has significant economic potential for both sides,” said Shri. Puneet Roy Kundal, IFS, Joint Secretary of the East and South Africa Division at the Ministry of External Affairs, which also oversees the EAC.
 
“The United Republic of Tanzania has a wealth of resources, including arable land for agriculture, several tourist sites, various minerals, ports and harbors, and energy resources, to name a few, and it wishes to make use of them by combining outsourcing from other partner countries, such as India, in order to achieve win-win economic prosperity,” said His Excellency Mr. Baraka H. Luvanda.
 
“In terms of trade, Africa is our most valuable asset. People and governments are adaptable, and they have a strong connection with Indian businesses seeking new possibilities. We have a lot in common in terms of cultural and social elements, and we have a lot of respect for each other, which is why the Indo-African trade connection is so strong. We from the NV group are aiming to expand markets all over Africa to offer Indian drinks, therefore boosting the Make in India concepts,” stated Mr. Varun Jain, Chairman of the India Africa Trade Council (AfCFTA).
 
“Zimbabwe has the most educated population on the African continent, with nearly 100% literacy. They value tourism and anticipate improvements that will help them reclaim their fortune. Zim, as people who love it call it,” remarked HE Dr. Godfrey Majoni Chipare, the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to India.

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