Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pitched for an “Asia-Africa growth corridor” which will be developed along with Japan and the US in an effort to counter increasing Chinese presence on the African continent, an Indian Express report said. “India is working with the United States and Japan to support development in Africa,” the PM was quoted as saying by the paper while addressing the 52nd annual general meeting of the African Development Bank in Gandhinagar.
“I gladly recall my detailed conversation with Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe during my visit to Tokyo. We discussed our commitment to enhancing growth prospects for all. In our joint declaration, we mentioned an Asia-Africa Growth Corridor and proposed further conversations with our brothers and sisters from Africa,” Modi was quoted to have said at the event.
African countries are being wooed at a time when China has increased its investments in the continent. The “African Economic Outlook 2017”, which was released at the summit on Monday says: “Chinese investment in Africa continues to rise, despite the country’s slowing economy and decreasing demand for oil and minerals.” The Chinese companies, had last year, announced over $30 billion investment in greenfield projects across the continent.
The India-Japan-US trio, which has shown interest in African continent may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for several African nations currently concerned over the slowdown in China’s growth rate. China, which is a primary consumer of African products, accounts for 27 percent of continent’s total global exports.
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While pointing out the rising trade between India and the African continent, the prime minister said: “India’s commodity trade with Africa in 2015-16 was higher than our commodity trade with the US”. Narendra Modi further said his government had made Africa a “top priority” for India’s economic and foreign policy, the paper said further.