Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry will lead Indian side in a special Meeting of India-Africa Trade Ministers to be held on May 21, 2011 in Addis Ababa. The meeting precedes 2nd Africa- India Forum Summit and will be involving Trade & Industry Ministers from all the member States. 2nd Africa- India Forum Summit is being convened on 24th – 25th May, 2011 at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The outcome of the Trade Ministers’ Meet will feed into the Summit Declaration of the leaders. The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, will visit Ethiopia on May 23-26, 2011 to participate in the Summit.
The Trade Ministers are likely to exchange views on the on-going Multilateral trade Negotiations in the Doha Round and how to safeguard the interests of the developing Nations in Multilateral Cooperation. They will also exchange of views on the Global Economic Situation and each country`s macroeconomic policies along with the ways of Strengthening of Trade and Investment relations between India and Africa. Discussions are also likely to cover the issue of accessing the Indian market, including implementation of Duty Free Tariff Preferences Scheme (DFTP) for LDCs. India may also offer technical assistance and capacity Building for Africa in the areas of “Dispute Settlement in WTO” and “WTO Negotiations”
The Summit coming three years after the New Delhi Summit provides an over-arching institutional umbrella for a sustained multi-dimensional engagement between India and Africa in the 21st Century. The Delhi Declaration, the Framework Cooperation Agreement along with the Plan of Action drawn up jointly between India and Africa Union (AU) circumscribe the contours of this partnership. Speaking on the growing Africa- India relations Shri Sharma stated that, “We affirm that cooperation between Africa and India has been, from its inception, a useful example of South-South cooperation. It has been our endeavour at this Summit to devise ways and means of enhancing this South-South partnership, taking into account the new capabilities that have emerged in Africa and India”.
On the sidelines of the Trade Ministers’ meeting Shri Sharma is likely to meet Ethiopian Prime Minister on 21st May. Highlighting the importance of the growing trade and bilateral investment with Africa Shri Sharma said, “Economic and Development Cooperation between India and Africa is a corner stone of their new age partnership. Trade between India and Africa crossed US $ 46 billion last year and is expected to reach US $ 70 billion by 2015. Indian private sector entrepreneurs have evinced considerable interest in partnering in Africa’s growth story and have made investments in excess of US $ 25 billion in a wide range of sectors from Telecom, Automobiles, IT, Pharmaceuticals and Agriculture”. The Africa– India Forum Summit provides a unique opportunity to strengthen the economic dialogue between India and the African Countries and promote measures for capacity building. It is proposed to discuss the establishment of a mechanism to strengthen Trade and Investment linkages between India and Africa with specific focus on the role of Regional Economic Communities, he added.
An India Show, profiling India’s rich heritage, the story of its developmental journey and showcasing its achievements in the field of industrial development shall be hosted along with the Trade Ministers’ Meet. A Business Conclave will also be organized in which leading CEOs of India will take part and have an interaction with their counterparts from Africa. There will be a programme, ‘Handcrafting Hope’ entailing interaction amongst Indian and African craftspeople,