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  • Thursday, 24 September 2020

Indian-African Relations Reflect a Promising Future to Support Sustainable Development: Minister of International Cooperation

Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, underscored the strength of the Indo-African relations, noting that today these relations are developing in a dynamic manner, which reflects a promising future for achieving the sustainable development goals.

This came during her participation in the fifteenth session of CII – EXIM Bank Digital Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership, which saw the participation of distinguished leaders from the two regions, including Mr. Shri Moraldahran, Minister of State for External Affairs of India, Mr. Sebusiso Moyo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Zimbabwe, and Mr. Charles Ooredoo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana. Evolution of African-Indian Relations The minister added that recent years have witnessed strong levels of economic growth for both the African and Indian regions, which contributed to a deepening of relations and increase in intra-trade relations, as well as increased interest of Indian companies to invest in the African continent, particularly in agriculture, infrastructure, education, skills development, health care, manufacturing and more. Al Mashat pointed out that India is the third largest export destination in Africa, as 18% of its imports of crude oil and liquefied natural gas come from West Africa, and this percentage is expected to rise to 90% by 2025. She also referred to a report by the World Trade Organization entitled "India and Africa: Trade and Investment between the South and the South", which revealed that intra-regional trade grew by 32% annually between 2005 and 2011, and confirms that relations bypass periods of turmoil and that it is witnessing a great development. “More than half of the world’s labor force will come from Africa in the future and there is no better time to capitalize on partnerships and invest in Africa’s fast potential,” Al Mashat stated in her speech. Egyptian-Indian Relations Al-Mashat highlighted the long historical relations between Egypt and India, which extends for about 65 years, stressing that India is one of the most important economic partners of Egypt as it is the tenth largest export and import destination for Egypt, and more than 540 Indian companies invest in Egypt with investments of more than 3.5 billion dollars in various fields such as petrochemical, industry and services. The minister of International Cooperation called on Indian companies to engage more in the Egyptian and African markets and benefit from free trade agreements that enables India to reach more than 600 million consumers in Africa, Arab countries and Europe via the Suez Canal axis. Economic Diplomacy Al Mashat concluded her speech by talking about efforts to push the frontiers of collaboration between Egypt and its international partners through economic diplomacy through three principles. These principles include regularly organizing multi-stakeholder platforms; adopting a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative People&Projects&Purpose (P&P&P); and mapping ODA financing to SDGs for all projects with multilateral and bilateral development partners. She added that “Egypt is the gateway to Africa,” and that she is aspiring to work more to create better opportunities for partnership between India and the countries of the African continent.