Wednesday, 27 April 2016

A Heavely model of South-South Collaboration

A Heavely model of South-South CollaborationThe India-Africa partnership is a heavenly model of multi-dimensional South-South Collaboration, spanning the traditional and emerging areas of cooperation alike. Every aspect of the partnership is reinforced by noteworthy developmental initiatives. Nigeria was the 'Partner Country' for the 11th CII Conclave, and a high-level delegation led by Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Hon’ble Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment participated in the Conclave. Ghana was the 'Guest Country' and the delegation was led by His Excellency Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana.    

Inaugurated in New Delhi, the 11th CII EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership intended to fortify bilateral relations between India and Africa. In an exhibition of harmony, luminaries, business leaders and more than 1000 delegates from the two economies marked their presence on the inaugural day of the event at Taj Palace hotel in New Delhi, India.    

Amongst others, the inaugural session was addressed by His Excellency Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, Vice President, Republic of Ghana; Okechukwu Enelamah, hon’ble Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency James Vani Igga, Vice President, Republic of South Sudan; Gen. VK Singh (retd.), hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India; Yaduvendra Mathur, Chairman and Managing Director, Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM); Noel N Tata, Chairman of CII Africa Committee and Managing Director, Tata International Ltd and Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.    

Addressing the gathering at the Conclave, Noel N Tata accentuated the reputation of the Conclave as a stage for understanding the objectives of people of India and Africa. He said, “The unexpected economic events of the last 12 months, have, I believe, made partnerships between the businesses of our countries even more necessary, if not imperative.” According to him, the constant weak economic sentiment across the developed world has impacted India’s exports. “This weakness does not appear to be disappearing soon. Indian companies, therefore, need to diversify their customer and investment base and what better place than Africa,” he added. In his address, hon’ble Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nigeria enlightened that it was constructive for both parties to review erstwhile cooperation to permit them concretise prevailing agreements.    

“I wish to express our gratitude to the Prime Minister of India for the announcement he made regarding the new 10 billion dollars line of credit, the 600 million dollars grant, the 100 million dollars for India-Africa Development Fund and the health fund of 10 million dollars.” He also called on the private sector and civil society on both sides to work in partnership with the government adding that their participation would “give concrete expression to the vision of the leaders”. Hon’ble Enelamah said that the private sector can give real appearance to the vision of Indian and African governance for long-term bilateral cooperation and partnerships. He added that the civil society could also play a key role in this regard.    

Talking about the ‘Make in India’ campaign, he said that Nigeria would look to learn from India’s experience in driving local manufacturing growth. He also called for a more generous visa regime that would simplify easier people-to-people contacts between India and Nigeria. He further called on India to take advantage of the opportunities that existed in the various sectors in Nigeria and guaranteed of an enabling environment for the economic growth of both sides.    

Strengthening the bond of trade and friendship The bilateral trade between India and Africa rose from $30 billion in 2008 to $72 billion in 2015. India Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. V K Singh (rtd), revealed this on the first day of the conclave. He noted that the relations between India and Africa had thrived for a long time “because of our commitment.” The minister added that the forte of the friendship had been on partnership in capacity building in the countries. “We trust each other to be able to build capacity that will stand the test of time. I hope we will take decision in this conclave that will help us all. We are looking towards sustainable development, joint efforts and collaboration is needed and we must commit ourselves to work together, we must strengthen our bond of trade and friendship” the minister said.    

According to the Minister, while India-Africa bilateral trade has augmented from $30 billion in 2008 to $72 billion in 2015, there is immense scope for increasing the bilateral trade flows. He insisted the least developed countries (LDCs) in Africa to take full benefits from the Duty Free Tariff Preferential (DFTP) Scheme extended to LDCs by Government of India, and thereby increase African LCDs share of total African exports to India.    

His Excellency James Wani Igga, Vice President, Republic of South Sudan, invited Indian companies and investors to take part in South Sudan’s economic and industrial diversification. Presently, South Sudan has high dependence on oil production and exports. H.E. Igga said that the South Sudan government extends a bundle of incentives to prospective investors that include tax holidays, access to land, entry work permits, easy licensing, etc. He also underlined the need for greater joint efforts by India and Africa to meet the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals. Read more...

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