PM of India’s bilateral meetings with African leaders
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).