Combined GDP of India, Africa would be $35 tn by 2050: President

India-Africa bilateral trade has grown from $51.67 bn in 2010-11 to $56.69 bn in 2016-17

Aamir H Kaki

President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said that a new spirit of awakening and cooperation could describe the partnership between India and Africa. It is projected that by 2050, the combined GDP of the two regions would reach $35 trillion and the combined population would surpass 4 billion. 

"The India-Africa century has begun and let us accelerate this process,” he said while inaugurating the 12th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership, in New Delhi. India’s connection with Africa is not new. The relations between the two regions have deepened over the years. We are committed to creating genuine partnerships that generate jobs and opportunities for the people of both the regions, he said. 

Mukherjee said that India has strongly supported the development in Africa and provided Lines of Credits of more than $7 billion under the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) process. 

“Our collaboration extends across a wide spectrum.India is also helping Africa in building a strong skilled manpower base by extending scholarships and technical training opportunities to African students. We have offered 50,000 scholarships to our African brothers 6000 African citizens have since trained under IAFS-3,” he added. 

Speaking at the event, Commerce and Industry Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman said that the current scenario of world trade and investment presents a huge opportunity for India and Africa. 

“We must seize the opportunity,” she added. 

She mentioned that India witnessed an increase of 30% in FDI inflows at a time when the world FDI flows had dropped by 16%. The growth in FDI inflows is greatly supported by Government's ‘Make in India’ scheme. 

Referring to the present trade flows between India and Africa, Sitharaman said that bilateral trade has grown from $51.67 billion in FY 2010-11 to $56.69 billion in FY 2016-17.

Renewable energy, healthcare, drugs and pharmaceuticals are the most promising fields for India-Africa partnerships, she said. 

Gen. V K Singh (Retd.), Minister of State for External Affairs, said this year’s Conclave has attracted the biggest participation from Africa. Underlining the importance for fostering concrete projects at the event, he said that investments from India in Africa are directed to deliver concrete benefits to the host countries of Africa. 

“India is a bright spot for Africa to do business with,” he added. 

Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister and Leader of Government Business, Republic of Uganda, King Mswati-III of the Kingdom of Swaziland, Dr Naushad Forbes, President, CII, and Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII presented their views at the inaugural session. 

Uganda and Swaziland are the Guest Countries at this year’s two-day event.

Aamir Hussain Kaki - Mar 10, 2017 12:00 IST