India East Africa Community (EAC) to drive enhanced trade partnerships

 Indian Economic Trade Organization in association with the India Africa Trade Council organized the INDIA EAC SUMMIT in New Delhi on 3rd September which was attended by the High Commissioners of Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and the Ambassador of Zimbabwe in India. The motive was for building up bilateral business relations between both the countries of India and the countries in the EAC region namely Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Kenya. The chief guest at the event was the Joint Secretary (MEA) Govt of India Shri. Puneet Roy Kundal, IFS who is in charge of the East and South Africa Division.

The event focused on the emerging relationships with the EAC region with various presentations by the Heads of Missions and thrust on developing partnerships that would be mutually beneficial to these regions especially post Covid 19. 
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organization of six Partner States namely, the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The East African Community was established on 7th July 2000 by the Republic of Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Uganda. The republics of Rwanda and Burundi joined the community in July 2007 while the Republic of South Sudan joined the community in 2016. The East African Community has an area (including water) of 2.5 million sq. km while the surface area is 1.82 million sq. km, with a population of 177 million (2019) and combined GDP (current market prices) of USD$193.7 billion (2019). With such a large population the EAC provides a notable market as well as an investment destination for India.
“There is a huge interest in India with Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya as the Investment Hub that is an emerging region having great scope for multilateral business opportunities with its manufacturing base. India Africa Trade Council will open trade desks focusing on the EAC region in Tamilnadu and Karnataka to facilitate Indian Businessmen wanting to do Trade in the EAC countries. These offices are expected to work directly with various embassies in Delhi and bring opportunities to places like Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad” said Dr. Asif Iqbal, the President of the Indian Economic Trae Organization.
“Although Rwanda is no longer a hidden secret, it is by and large still widely recognized by Indian businesses as a practical and strategic destination – and a remarkable opportunity to increase their success rate. I suggest this is, in particular, true for new market entrants into Africa, because simply put, entry barriers are low and doing business in Rwanda is easier” said the High Commissioner of Rwanda to India H.E. Ms. Jacqueline Mukangira who also invited the Indian business delegation to visit Rwanda to explore more opportunities in Health post COVID19.  
“India and Africa will be at the top of our priorities as per the Vision of the Ministry and we will continue to intensify and deepen our engagement with the whole African region which will be sustained and regular.  Our development partnerships will be guided by their priorities and we will build as much local capacity and create as many local opportunities as possible. In August this year, India-EAC Signed a joint action plan to boost bilateral trade by ensuring faster clearance of goods which has a great economic potential for both the sides,” said Shri. Puneet Roy Kundal, IFS, Joint Secretary of the East and South Africa Division at the Ministry of External Affairs that is also in charge of the EAC. 
“The United Republic of Tanzania is endowed with a vast number of resources such as arable land for agricultural, abundant tourist attractions, minerals of all sorts, ports and harbours, energy resources among others and wishes to utilize the same through the blending of outsourcing from other partner countries such as India in sourcing in order to attain win-win economic prosperity,” said His Excellency Mr. Baraka H. Luvanda.
“Africa is our greatest asset from a trade point of view. The people and the governments are flexible and relate very much to Indian business houses that are looking to explore fresh opportunities. We are very similar in the culture and social aspects and we respect each other beyond measure and that is the greatness of Indo African trade relationship. We from NV group are looking to extend markets all over Africa to supply Indian beverages thereby promoting the Make in India concepts,” said Mr. Varun Jain, the Chairman of the India Africa Trade Council (AfCFTA).
“With a nearly 100% literacy level, Zimbabwe has the most enlightened people on the African continent. They respect visitors and look forward to change that will bring them back their prosperity. Zim, as it is called by those who have an affection for it,” said HE Dr. Godfrey Majoni Chipare, the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to India.

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