‘India/Africa trade could triple in five years’

India’s trade with Africa is “way below potential” at the current US$52 billion and could almost triple within five years to reach US$150 bn, according to the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, CR Chaudhary.

He called on African countries, including South Africa, to “meticulously utilise” the Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) scheme which allowed for the import of almost all products from emerging countries at zero-rated or lower duties.

Chaudhary added that African exports could be enhanced through value-addition and targeted promotion strategies. “There is huge potential for Indian investment in Africa’s energy, infrastructure, agriculture and IT sectors,” he said.

Meanwhile, Indian high commissioner to South Africa, Ruchira Kamboj, was widely quoted in the media last week as saying a direct flight between South Africa and India would be an “immediate stimulus to trade”.

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