Projects worth $70 billion discussed at India-Africa conclave

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) More than 500 projects worth nearly $70 billion were discussed during the three-day India-Africa project partnership conclave that ended Tuesday, organiser said.

Over 900 delegates from 45 countries participated in the 9th edition of the conclave organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Export-Import Bank of India. This was the largest ever participation.
“There was record participation. More than 1,500 business-to-business meetings took place during the event,” said Syamal Gupta, chairman, CII Africa committee.
Gupta said the 10th edition of the conclave would be held from March 9-11 next year in New Delhi.
He expressed hope that the number of participants in the next year conclave would be even higher.
CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee said more than 500 projects from different sectors like agriculture, infrastructure, mining and oil and gas, valued at around $70 billion were discussed during the conclave.
“I am confident that the outcomes of these discussions would lead to a concrete proposals and translate into action on the ground,” he said.
Banerjee said India and Africa need to increase economic engagements in view of the global economic crisis.
“The global slowdown has compelled nations to look for new growth opportunities. Within the overall deceleration, developing nations suffer disproportionately since they are at the same time battling the challenges of poverty alleviation, development and income generation,” he said.
Addressing the valedictory session of the conclave India’s commerce secretary S. R. Rao said India and Africa share special relations and the government would take make all efforts to facilitate more trade and investments.
India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma met his counterparts from various African countries who were here to participate in the conclave.
Buoyed by the recent surge in trade, the ministers have revised upward the two-day trade target at $100 billion by 2015.
Trade ministers of India and Africa at a meeting held in March 2012 had set a target of $90 billion trade by 2015.
“We are upwardly revising the target to at least $100 billion by 2015 because I feel that it is achievable,” Sharma said Monday after meeting his counterparts from various African countries.
Rao said India was discussing free trade pact with some African countries and group of countries, with a view to boost trade.