India looking at investments from Africa

New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) With India-Africa trade turnover standing at $70 billion, India is now looking for inward investments from Africa, a senior official said on Tuesday.

“Total trade turnover between India and Africa is $70 billion,” Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said at a curtainraiser here of the “I for Afrika” business networking event.

“We are not only looking at investing in Africa, we are also looking at African investments in India,” Sinha said.

Organised by the Indo-African Chamber of Commerce (IACCI), the eighth edition of “I for Afrika” is also supported by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce and will be held in Mumbai from September 27 to 30.

The event is aimed at strengthening business partnerships between India and Africa with focus on sectors of high priority and enhancing capacity building initiatives and resources mobilisation programmes.

Sinha said that India was taking many steps to reinvigorate and re-energise ties with Africa.

In this connection, he referred to the high-level visits to nine African countries in the last six months — to three countries by President Pranab Mukherjee, to two by Vice President Hamid Ansari and to four by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

With food security being one of the major areas of focus in India’s ties with Africa, Sinha said that India would see if it could replicate the pulses import agreement it has signed with Mozambique.

During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Mozambique last month, India signed a memorandum of understanding with Mozambique to import 3.75 lakh tonnes of pulses over three years from the southeast African country.

Sinha also said that India expected a large number of African countries to join the India-initiated International Solar Alliance.

Manoj Dwivedi, Joint Secretary (Africa) in the Ministry of Commerce, said that Africa has 50 percent of the world’s arable land but less than 10 percent was under cultivation.

He also said that India has offered duty-free access to its markets to 34 African countries.

Alem T. Woldmariam, Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of Eritrea, said that Africa has a lot to offer to India in terms of investments.

“All sectors of the African economy are open for investments,” he said.

According to Sunanda Rajendran, Secretary General of IACCI, in this year’s “I for Afrika” event, over 400 business delegates will be brought together under one roof.



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