India will negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with the newly formed African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), says Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu.
Al.so, the government is seeking to set up a new India–Africa Development Fund which would seek to synergise the Lines of Credit as well as other export promotion and development programmes to bring about a more holistic development of the continent.
Forty-four African countries last week formed an African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aimed at creating a single market for goods and services with free movement of businesses and investments.
Bilateral trade between India and Africa is $53 billion, which is far below potential and there is a need to step up the volume of trade as well as diversify the trade basket. In this context,
The minister said the commerce ministry was revamping export insurance and the Project Export Promotion Council to provide the much-needed boost to India’s exports to Africa.
He also stressed the need for Indian companies to invest in Africa and that it was for this reason that the Asia–Africa Growth Corridor was being developed.
Moreover, the government is looking to strengthen connectivity links with Africa, especially in the area of civil aviation, Prabhu said, addressing the Exim Bank Conclave on India–Africa Project Partnership, organized by the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Exim Bank of India and industry body CII on Sunday.
According to the African Union, the AfCFTA could create an African market of over 1.2 billion people with a GDP of 2.5 trillion dollars, the pan-African bloc said.
The AfCFTA will progressively eliminate tariffs on intra-African trade, making it easier for African businesses to trade within the continent and cater to and benefit from the growing African market. AU.
AU Chairperson and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has said the advantages Africa gains by creating one African market will also benefit our trading partners around the world.