INDIAN INVESTMENTS IN AFRICA TOUCHES US $ 33 BILLION ANAND SHARMA INAUGURATES INDIA SHOW AT ADDIS ABABA INDIA-AFRICA BILATERAL TRADE TO TOUCH US $ 70 BILLION BY 2015
Date : 20 May 2011
Location : New Delhi
Shri Anand Sharma Union Minister for Commerce & Industry expressed hope that the ongoing ‘India Show’ will be a unique opportunity for the African businesses to deepen and strengthen existing ties and forge new linkages with Indian companies. Shri Sharma inaugurated India Show at Millennium Hall, Addis Ababa today. The theme of the show is “Africa & India: Partners in Progress – Friends Forever”. Shri Sharma is leading the Indian delegation as part of the build-up to the 2nd ‘Africa-India Forum Summit’ scheduled on 24-25th May, 2011. He also released a special publication entitled ‘India-Africa Business Guide’ during the Inaugural session of the India Show. Speaking on this occasion Shri Sharma said, ”India has become one of the leading investors in African countries, with Indian investments in Africa in Joint Ventures and wholly owned subsidiaries touching US $ 33 billion mark, covering diverse sectors like Oil & Gas, Pharmaceuticals, Petrochemicals, IT, Fertilizers, Infrastructure, etc”. The large presence of Indian businesses at the Trade Exhibition would help African companies get a firsthand account of the business opportunities in India and interact with potential partners. The India Show inauguration was attended by Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson, Commission of the African Union and Mr. Bhagwant S. Bishnoi, Ambasssador of India to Ethiopia .The Inaugural session was addressed by Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson, Commission of the African Union; Mr Abdurahman Sheik Mohamed, Minister of Trade, Republic of Ethiopia and. Mr Mekonen Manyazwal, Minister of Industry, Republic of Ethiopia.
In his Inaugural address, Shri Sharma noted that, “The economic partnership between India and Africa has taken giant leaps forward ever since the first India-Africa Forum Summit in 2008, with Bilateral Trade between India and Africa, which was at a meager US $ 3 billion at the turn of the century, crossing the US $ 46 billion mark last year”. He further mentioned that we are well on our way to achieve bilateral trade target of US $ 70 billion by 2015. The Commerce Minister reiterated that India will continue with its efforts to expand trade with the African countries through a special focus, including steps like the ‘Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme’ for certain countries in Africa to enable easier imports from them. The ‘India Show’, which would continue till the 22nd May, is only the second such Show in the African continent after the one held in South Africa last year in August at Johannesburg and Durban, and comprises of a mega ‘Trade Exhibition’, a ‘Business Seminar’, and a ‘Cultural Programme’. The large ‘Trade Exhibition’ at the Millennium Hall (20th-22nd May, 2011) showcases Indian technologies, innovations and business opportunities to the visitors by leading Indian companies. More than 80 Indian companies are displaying their products in the Trade Exhibition, ranging across sectors such as manufacturing, infrastructure, finance, IT, automotives, Pharmaceuticals, Services (Financial, Education, ICT, Skills Development & Tourism) and others. Shri Sharma is leading a 15-member high-level Indian CEOs delegation to Addis Ababa
Later in the evening, Shri Sharma will also be inaugurating the ‘Handcrafting Hope’ and ‘Multimedia Exhibition’ in the presence of the first lady of Ethiopia, Ms. Azeb Mesfin, wife of Ethiopian Prime Minister. Mr.Meles Zenawi. ‘Handcrafting Hope’ is an interactive craft meet to facilitate skill-sharing and knowledge exchange between African and Indian craftspersons. 20 Indian craftswomen from India possessing varying skills will meet and interact with 30 of their counterparts from different African countries, including Ethiopia. The Multimedia Exhibition will be bringing together diverse cultures from India and Africa by showcasing through multimedia elements. The first ever academic symposium, “Africa & India: Partnership for Enhancing Development & Growth”; joint cultural performances by Indian and African artists, “Rhythm of Life”; a programme for interaction amongst Indian and African craftswomen; “From Tradition to Innovation”; a film festival showcasing the best of Indian commercial cinema, “Come, Fall in Love with the Magic of Bollywood”; and India Africa media partnership symposium “Building Bridges; a Business Conclave’ involving interaction of African and Indian Trade Ministers with CEOs of many leading companies of Africa and India will be showcasing the diverse and vivid culture of both the countries on the sidelines of the summit.