Indian companies in Africa have proposed that the government take measures here, such as improving the credit system line, setting up banks and liberalizing visa policies to increase trade and investment with Africa, the Ministry of Commerce said. Indian business community in Africa highlighted these issues during a Digital Video Conference (DVC) engagement organized by the ministry and Indian high commissions and embassies of eleven African countries.
Between 2017-18 India's overall trade with the African world was USD 62.69 billion.
More than 400 Indian business community leaders from 11 African countries attended the event — Tanzania, Uganda , Kenya, Zambia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Mozambique, Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, and Madagascar. The other issues they pose include starting direct flights between India and African countries; exploring the possibility of rupee trading to resolve the issue of dollar shortages; building a shared buyer-supplier database; developing a comprehensive trade dispute resolution mechanism; and forming FICCI or CII country chapters in Africa.
The Department of Commerce welcomed the suggestions and assured them that they would share these suggestions with relevant stakeholders / departments to integrate the suggestions in the Indian-African Trade Promotion Strategy, it said in a statement. Throughout the meetings, senior officials from the Department of Commerce and the Ministry of External Affairs attended.
The ministry said African countries pose enormous opportunities for India with the world's largest land mass, 54 nations, a population rising nearly equal to that of India, huge mineral resources, oil reserves, a youthful population, dropping levels of poverty and increasing patterns of consumption. According to the latest available figures, Indian Diaspora's total strength in the African countries is 2.8 million and out of those 2.5 million are PIOs and 2,20,967 rest are NRIs, it added.