India-Africa business conclave starts March 19

February 25th, 2008 - 10:20 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) India’s economic ties with Africa are set to get a boost at a three-day conclave starting March 19 in which ministers and business people from over 20 African countries will participate. The India-Africa Project Partnership conclave, organized jointly by the commerce and external affairs ministries, the EXIM bank and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), is aimed at accelerating trade and investment with an increased involvement of the private sector from both sides.

The CII held a meeting with heads of African mission Monday to firm up the agenda for the economic conclave in which over 200 officials and businessmen from both sides will participate, a CII official told IANS.

Spurred by the success of the three previous conclaves, the fourth one will put the spotlight on India’s economic diplomacy in the resource-rich African continent that is attracting increasing foreign investment.

The conclave is being held ahead of India’s first summit with 14 African countries that will be held April 8.

India’s bilateral trade with Africa is steadily growing and is estimated to be over $20 billion.

Given strong political and economic ties between the two sides, the present volume of trade is said to be much below the potential. Conclaves like this are aimed at realizing the full economic potential of India-Africa economic ties, said a CII official.

Africa has emerged as the new land of opportunity for Indian business and industry with major industrial houses like the Tatas and Kirloskars entrenching their presence in Africa.

The first conclave, held in 2005, resulted in the two sides discussing over 70 projects valued at over $5 billion.

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