India negotiates African trade pacts
The India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (CECPA) is near finalization as negotiations for trade in goods and trade in services have been completed, said the Commerce and Industry Ministry on 1 Jan 2020.
The CECPA seeks to mutually benefit both the countries, in the area of trade in goods, and trade in services, said the Ministry in an update on promoting India-Africa trade.
Seven rounds of India-Mauritius CECPA negotiations have been held till now.
During these rounds, negotiations were held cutting across trade in Goods, Trade in Services, Rules of Origin, Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary (SPS) measure, Trade Remedies and Dispute Settlement.
Elaborating, the Ministry said it regularly reviews India’s trade with Africa through institutional mechanisms like Joint Commission Meetings (JCMs), Joint Trade Committees (JTCs) and Joint Working Groups (JWGs).
The 9th Session of the India-Kenya Joint Trade Committee was held in New Delhi on 19-20 August 2019 under the co-chairmanship of Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and his Kenyan counterpart Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives.
During the meeting, wide ranging discussions were held cutting across sectors like MSME, Agriculture, Information Communication Technology (ICT), Tourism, Administration of Standards, Development of Human Resources in Higher Education, Science & Technology, Investment Promotion and Protection, Air Services, Energy, Plastics, Textile, Pharmaceuticals, Oil & Gas, Health, Immigration, Automobile and other engineering products.
Collaboration in the field of issue of recognition of Indian Pharmacopoeia in Kenya was also discussed.
The First India-Nigeria JTC, held 19–20 December 2019 in New Delhi, discussed various sectors including oil and natural gas, market access in bovine meat, rice, recognition of pharmacopoeia, cooperation of SME sector, higher education and power.
The first meeting of the India-South Africa JWG on Trade and Investment was held in January 2019 to deliberate upon the bottlenecks including non-tariff barriers and suggest the way forward to further deepen India’s trade with the region.
On the Occasion of World Cotton Day organized by WTO in Geneva on 7 October 2019, Commerce & Industry Ministry announced the launch of Phase-II of C-TAP in 11 African countries.
The programme is aimed at enhancing productivity in cotton sector, improving the post-harvest and plant by-products industry in the participating countries, as well as building the capacity of the cotton-based textile sector.
The Department is currently working on implementation plan in consultation with stakeholders such as foreign counterparts through Indian Missions, External Affairs Ministry, institutes engaged in cotton research and capacity building activities in India.
In order to leverage the huge presence of Indian business community in Africa for promoting India’s exports to the region, three rounds of interactions of Minister of Commerce & Industry were organized through Indian Missions with Indian business community in Madagascar, Tanzania, Mauritius, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Ghana, Botswana, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Egypt over Digital Video Conference (DVC) in May 2019.
For promoting India-Africa trade and economic relations, a regional conclave was organised by Commerce & Industry Minister jointly with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in March 2019 at New Delhi.
On the sidelines of the Conclave/Regional Conclave, bilateral meetings with participating countries were also held at the Ministerial level to boost up Indian participation in project exports opportunities in African countries. The conclave was attended by Head of the States from three African countries.
More than two dozen Ministers along with around 500 business delegates from Africa participated in the Conclave.
On the sidelines of the conclave, bilateral meetings were held between Minister of State (Commerce & Industry) with Trade Ministers of African countries, issues related to trade, investments, and cooperation in agriculture, pharmaceutical sector were discussed.
The conclave also focused on new ideas and strategies, for enhancing the engagement between Indian and the Southern African Development Community (SADC – a 16-member organization) in various sectors.
Various opportunities in project exports were discussed by Indian and African business delegates in B2B meetings.
The Commerce & Industry Ministry jointly with CII organized the India-Africa Higher Education and Skill Development Summit on 26–27 August 2019 at New Delhi. fiinews.com