Duty-Free Tariff Preference for African exports
Indian companies are not only investing in Africa but are also forging new people-driven partnerships and creating jobs, said C R Chaudhary, the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry.
“Indian companies are not only investing in Africa but are also forging new people-driven partnerships and creating jobs, which are impacting lives of common people in these countries,” he said at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-Exim Bank of India “India-West Africa Regional Conclave” held 8-9 Oct 2018 in Abuja.
The minister appealed to all West African countries to avail of India’s Duty-Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) scheme to increase their exports to India.
He expressed hope that the conclave will open “a new chapter in India-West African economic relations.”
The Conclave is steering multi-dimensional relations between India and West Africa onto a higher trajectory, he added.
“West Africa is getting greater attention from India, both diplomatically and economically,” said Chaudhary.
He also lauded the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for playing “the role of an enabler and catalyst in transforming economic fortunes of the region.”
M J Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs, highlighted the “unprecedented economic transformation” going on in India and Africa, and called for forging a roadmap, underpinned by a shared vision, for intensifying India-West Africa partnership.
“The reason why we are here is that both India and Africa have now set themselves on the course of transformation, which is unprecedented in their recent history. ECOWAS represents something fundamental about that transformation,” he said.
Underlining the importance of the India opportunity for Nigeria and the West African region, the Nigerian Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Okechukwu Enelamah stressed on scaling economic partnership with India, especially as West African countries look to diversify their resource-based economies.
Nigeria could learn from India to diversify its economy amid common challenges faced by both countries, he acknowledged.
Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President, ECOWAS Commission, underscored that the conclave was important to strengthen business links between ECOWAS and Nigeria and foster economic development for both parties.
He said that the development in the region offered opportunities to investors to take advantage of a large market, with the region recording a population of nearly 370 million people.
B N Reddy, India’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, informed the conclave audience of India’s plan to open 18 resident missions across Africa, including many West African countries.
Forging closer tie-ups in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) figured prominently in discussions. Muhammad Jegana, President, Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, called for harnessing technology platforms to promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“We need to look at how to bring India and West Africa together to foster FinTech and digital economy,” said Muhammad Jegana.
He added that there was a huge potential of small businesses being promoted through e-commerce platforms. fiinews.com