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PM of India’s bilateral meetings with African leaders

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]New Delhi: The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, today held bilateral meetings with African leaders on the sidelines of the India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi. The Prime Minister met Mr. Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, and Chairman of African Union. They discussed issues of common interest, including UN Reform and the threat of terrorism. The Prime Minister spoke of the close bilateral ties between India and Zimbabwe. President Mugabe is the co-chair for the India Africa Forum Summit, and the two leaders reviewed the preparations for the Summit. The Prime Minister met President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana. Warm ties between the two countries and growing bilateral trade came up for discussion. Areas of cooperation including agriculture, IT, skill development, cyber security and maritime security figured in the talks. The Prime Minister met the King of Swaziland H.E. Mswati III. The King spoke of his vision for his country's development, including areas such as infrastructure, renewable energy and skill development. The Prime Minister complimented the Swaziland King on his leadership and vision, and offered assistance in its development. The Prime Minister met Dr. Boni Yayi, President of Benin. The growing economic relationship between the two countries, and areas of cooperation such as agricultural mechanization, power generation, water supply and transportation came up for discussion. The Prime Minister met Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria. Oil exploration, defence cooperation, and UN reform were among the areas were discussed at the meeting. During the meeting between Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, and the Prime Minister, areas of cooperation including healthcare, infrastructure and mutual trade and economic relations came up for discussion. The historical ties between the two countries and the large Indian diaspora in Kenya were mentioned. Terrorism and UN reform also came up for discussion. The Prime Minister met President Jacob Zuma of South Africa. Both leaders recalled the historical ties between the two countries. Issues of terrorism, reform of the United Nations Security Council, and reform of institutions of global governance, came up for discussion. The Prime Minister met the President of Uganda, Mr. Yoheri Museveni. The two leaders discussed ways to enhance prosperity and mutual understanding between the two countries.
African Nations Should Leverage Duty Free Tariff Preferences Offered by India –Smt Nirmala Sitharaman
Union Commerce Minister,Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has called upon the African Nations to leverage Duty Free Tariff Preferences offered by India. Speaking at a seminar on Focus Africa organised by the EXIM Bank of India in New Delhi on 27th October, 2015, Smt. Sitharaman highlighted that India has offered the Duty Free Tariff Preferences (DFTP) scheme for LDCs which provides duty free market access on over 95% of tariff lines. Not many countries have offered such overarching reduction in tariffs for LDCs, including those in Africa, the Minister said. She advised the financial institutions and think-tanks in Africa and India to popularise the advantages of DFTP, among Indian and African business. Indian business could look at Africa for their investments and in-turn look at India for their market using the DFTP. The Commerce Minister added that the Government of India has been encouraging services cooperation with the African Nations. Africa has the potential for development of Tourism, Healthcare, Hospitality and ICT sectors. The Government of India supported Pan-Africa E-Network has contributed significantly to the Africa’s skill development and healthcare delivery, Smt. Sitharaman said. The Government is looking at the feasibility of providing cost-effective credit facilities to build capacities in other developing nations, particularly in Africa, the Minister said. During the day long Seminar, Business and Financial Institutions deliberated on the potential for Business Cooperation between India and Africa.
“India Values it’s Partnership with Countries in Africa”- Shri Piyush Goyal
Shri Piyush Goyal Union Minister of State (IC) for Coal, Power and New and Renewable Energy said that India values its partnership with countries in Africa and that India would continue to collaborate with countries in Africa in achieving their developmental endeavours, through sharing of technology, expertise, skill sets and capacity building endeavours. While speaking at the Valedictory Session of the “Focus Africa” seminar organised by Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank), Shri Goyal touched upon the Government’s recent endeavours to ensure access to affordable energy to all and its initiative of seamless connectivity through the Digital India Initiative. Mr. P A Chinamasa, Hon’ble Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Government of Zimbabwe in his address highlighted that while the country is endowed with abundant natural and mineral resources, the potential needs to be fully realized yet. He noted that infrastructure development, value addition in mining and beneficiation, education and healthcare are priority sectors for economic development and invited Indian entrepreneurs to invest in areas of its strength. Mr. Anil Swarup, Secretary, Ministry of Coal, highlighted that India has made rapid strides in the coal sector over the years with India recording the highest coal production growth of 8.3% in 23 years, which has led to over ` 3.35 Lakh Crore (approximately USD 51.5 billion) of potential revenues to the coal bearing states through transparent coal e-auctions & allotments. He opined that India would be keen to partner with Africa to explore business opportunities in the coal sector by way of exploration, mining, development of coal sector projects and mines in African countries by Indian companies. Mr. Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Government of India stressed upon the importance that renewable sources of energy such as solar, hydro and wind are gaining as a medium of power generation in order to address the burgeoning demand for power in India. He emphasized the need for innovative financing mechanisms to reduce cost of renewable energy and possible closer collaboration among countries bestowed with abundance solar energy resources. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Yaduvendra Mathur, CMD, Exim Bank, stated that the role of Government of India has been pivotal in creating an enabling environment for Indian entrepreneurs and investors in Africa. Senior level delegates from institutions and the Governments of around 54 African countries, including the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, PTA Bank, BOAD, DBSA and Afrexim Bank, and senior representatives from the African and Indian business community participated in the seminar which was organised on the sidelines of the third edition of the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS).
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About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He is working as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University, which has 440 colleges under its umbrella.

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