Industry bodies have urged the Government to expand the lines of credit to Africa to facilitate imports of most of its products, especially from the continent’s least developed nations with lower duties.

The suggestions are contained in a paper on “Come Invest in Africa: The Continent of the Future”, released today by the Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Ms. Sujata Mehta and President, PHD Chamber, Mr. Sharad Jaipuria. The Chairman, International Affairs Committee for Africa, PHD Chamber Mr. Sanjeev Sardana was also present during the occasion.africas-least-developed

Ms. Mehta said that currently the government had 135 line of credit towards entire African continents to promote two-way trade.

The paper also sought that in order to develop trade with Africa, India should further amend its duty free tariff preference scheme to cover around 98 per cent of the tariff lines.  Under the respective scheme, import of most products from least developed nations to India should attract lower duties.

According to it, India can seek to quadruple its revenues from Africa to over US$160 billion by 2025 by widening the expanse of its presence in the sectors wherein it has a strong foothold and unique value proposition.  African nations need to scale up their IT services, manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure, healthcare and other consumer goods/services.

In order to be a true solutions partner and capture the goldmine of opportunities existing in African industries, Indian players need to maintain the continuum of engagement with African governments and businesses/conglomerates; proactively assess the opportunities by conducting sector and country level studies; create an open think-tank or consortia of concerned companies for facilitating trade; and offer low cost funding for large projects to the African nations.