In order tofurther strengthen bilateral trade relations between India and Africa, ASSOCHAM organized 'India–Africa Dialogue', an interactive session with Heads of Missions of African countries at New Delhi,today. Along with the Heads of African Missions, the session was attended by senior officials of the Indian Government and Indian industry leaders.
Mr. AmbujChaturvedi, Executive Director, Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (OIA) and Chairman, India Africa Business Promotion Council (IABPC)chaired this important meeting which was aimed to encourage Indian business sentiments for investment into Africa and connecting the African Governments and industrieswith Indian business partners. Key sectors that require urgent investment were also identified.
Some of the major highlights of the discussion were as follows:
The interactive session concluded with ASSOCHAM's India Africa Business Promotion Council giving an assurance to the Heads of Missions of the African countries present at the interactive session that it would assist them by sharing these recommendations with the Indian Government so that they can be incorporatedin the agenda of the upcoming India Africa Forum Summit in October 2015.
- India should look at assisting African businesses in India, especially in the Food and Hospitality sector.
- African Missions mentioned that Indian companies shouldinvest their own money in Africa and not solely depend on LOCs.
- Indian companies should look at investing in ICT (Information, Communication and Technology) industry which is currently pegged at USD 75-80 billion in Africa and many African countries foresee privatisation in this sector, along with the healthcare sector.
- African diplomats highlighted the lack of Direct Banking Transaction betweenIndia and Africa as one of the biggest hurdle and have requested Indian banking institutions and Government ofIndia to resolve this so that business houses can trade freely withoutworrying about remittances.
- Development of inexpensive and frequent transport options along with direct flight connectivity between India and African countriesis the need of the hour.
- Indian Chambers should try to have more Chamber to Chamber interaction with local Chambers of Commerce in African countries.