Union Commerce Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has called upon the African Nations to leverage Duty Free Tariff Preferences offered by India. Speaking at a seminar on Focus Africa organised by the EXIM Bank of India in New Delhi , Smt. Sitharaman highlighted that India has offered the Duty Free Tariff Preferences (DFTP) scheme for LDCs which provides duty free market access on over 95% of tariff lines. Not many countries have offered such overarching reduction in tariffs for LDCs, including those in Africa, the Minister said. She advised the financial institutions and think-tanks in Africa and India to popularise the advantages of DFTP, among Indian and African business. Indian business could look at Africa for their investments and in-turn look at India for their market using the DFTP.
The Commerce Minister added that the Government of India has been encouraging services cooperation with the African Nations. Africa has the potential for development of Tourism, Healthcare, Hospitality and ICT sectors. The Government of India supported Pan-Africa E-Network has contributed significantly to the Africa’s skill development and healthcare delivery, Smt. Sitharaman said. The Government is looking at the feasibility of providing cost-effective credit facilities to build capacities in other developing nations, particularly in Africa, the Minister said.
During the day long Seminar, Business and Financial Institutions deliberated on the potential for Business Cooperation between India and Africa.