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Vol 55 No 3

Published 7th February 2014

Tripling trade

African countries are calling for more investment in local manufacturing and processing capacity – and India's private sector is ready to oblige

India's diplomats started off the year with a flurry of official visits to North African countries with a view to strengthening economic ties there. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid followed up with trips to Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia in late January and early February. India aims to augment its bilateral trade with Africa to at least US$100 billion by 2015, up from the current $70 bn. Back in October at the third Africa-India Ministers of Trade meeting, Anand Sharma, India’s Commerce and Industry Minister, described that as a modest target. The United Nations' Comtrade office estimates that India-Africa trade could in fact reach $176 bn. by 2015, if year-on-year growth rates between 2001 and 2011 hold firm. African exports to India, too, could hit more than $121 bn., provided that India's demand for fuel and minerals remains strong.

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