India seeks to jointly develop new markets with Africa (Lead)

March 19th, 2012 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) India Monday exhorted Africa to work together to jointly develop new markets for their products and underlined its commitment to partnering the continent in fulfilling its developmental aspirations.

“We aim at creating a new understanding in the fast changing global economy, and realise that we among the developing countries must not depend only on traditional markets but must develop new markets,” Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur told African ministers and business people at the India-Africa business conclave here.

Kaur said bilateral trade between India and Africa increased by 35 percent in 2010-11. Bilateral trade is currently estimated to be over $50 billion.

Over 600 industry leaders, ministers and officials from 36 African countries are participating at the 8th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership. They are expected to discuss 250 projects worth $30 billion. The theme of the conclave is “Creating Possibilities; Delivering Values.”

Kaur stressed that the conclave will help enhance “an understanding, recognising the new conditions and the emerging opportunities so that our partnership and engagement becomes more fruitful.”

Alluding to the two summits India has held with African leaders, Kaur stressed that India’s partnership with Africa was focused on capacity building, technology transfer and economic cooperation. Technology, investment and training constitute the tripod on which the India-Africa partnership rests, said Kaur.

Kaur sought to expand the canvas of the development partnership between India and the 54-nation African continent. “Our emphasis on nurturing human resources, building African capacities and enhancing value addition and processing of African resources and commodities is unfailing,” she said.

“We are committed to work with Africa for fulfilling its developmental aspirations and we know both the pain and the pleasure of the processes of development in a democratic framework for multi-cultural and pluralistic societies,” she stressed.

Acknowledging New Delhi’s strengths in knowledge industries, Faustin Archange Touadera, Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, sought India’s increased assistance in infrastructure development and in developing managerial and technical capabilities in his country.

At the second India-Africa Forum Summit in Addis Ababa last year, India pledged $5 billion in lines of credit and $700 million in grants for infrastructure development and for setting up over 100 training institutes across the African continent.

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