India Eyeing African Mkts

New Delhi, Sept 22: | Updated: Sep 23 2003, 05:30am hrs
The recent Cancun ministerial is a testimony to the close cooperation and coordination between India and African countries, commerce and industry minister Arun Jaitley has said. On all important issues be they related to the agreement on agriculture, TRIPs or the Singapore issues, there was not only a meeting of minds but also close cooperation between the Indian and the Africa delegations, he said while inaugurating a seminar on Focus: Africa Programme in Delhi on Monday.

Mr Jaitley informed that the first year results were quite encouraging. There was a 35 per cent increase in bilateral trade from the 7 focus countries amounting to $3,915 million during 2002-03.

Minister of state for commerce and industry SB Mookherjee and director general of foreign trade L Mansingh were also present at the meeting along with several heads of African missions in Delhi and representatives of export promotion councils and trade and industry.

Mr Jaitley stated that the programme had not resulted only in one-way flow from India to Africa. Thus while imports from the 7 focus countries had risen by 39.31 per cent during 2002-03, Indias exports to these countries had increased by 6.21 per cent. Indias bilateral trade with the whole Sub-Saharan Africa had increased to $5,335 million during 2002-03, showing a 57 per cent growth.