India, Africa on same page for bolstering investment, opening up new markets

New Delhi: India and African nations on Thursday pledged to continue promoting investment and trade through opening of new markets and raising the level of economic partnership between the two sides.

 India, Africa on same page for bolstering investment, opening up new markets

Cargo container at port

"We agree to... continue to work together in promoting investment exchanges and encourage establishment of direct trade relations through opening of new markets and raising the level of trade relations between the two sides in order to contribute to sustainable growth and economic development," said the Delhi Declaration issued at the third India-Africa Forum Summit.

Both sides agreed to work closely together within the framework of the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement for the expansion of trade and investment linkages and extend the framework to other regional economic communities, it said.

They were on the same page to support the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) aimed at integrating Africa's markets in line with the principles laid down in the Abuja Treaty, establishing the African Economic Community and its resolve to support the Continental Free Trade Area Negotiating Forum to conclude the negotiations by 2017.

They would fast-track implementation of the Duty Free Tariff Preference scheme offered by India since this would play "a significant role" in increasing trade between the two regions, the Declaration said, adding that both would strive for creating a conducive environment for trade facilitation in accordance with the WTO Bali Trade Facilitation Agreement.

In the infrastructure sector, there was agreement on intensifying ongoing cooperation in training, capacity building, consultancy and project implementation through concessional credit in infrastructure areas, including maritime connectivity, road and railway construction.

According to the India-Africa Framework for Strategic Cooperation, the two sides would explore possible joint investments to establish a robust fibre optic infrastructure in Africa. India has also "taken note of" the request by the African side to further expand its Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme for least developed countries for greater coverage.

"Efforts should be made to promote private and public investment from Africa into India," it added. Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation through training and collective negotiations on global trade issues, including at the WTO, to protect and promote legitimate interests of
developing countries.

They are also expected to step up ongoing cooperation in training, capacity building, consultancy and project implementation through concessional credit in infrastructure. Furthermore, it said the two sides agreed to train doctors and healthcare personnel through deployment of telecom and ICT in support of tele-medicine and e-health applications and strengthen public-private sector collaboration in pharmaceuticals.

PTI

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Updated Date: Oct 30, 2015 10:58:22 IST