This is the historic moment when the African development bank (AfDB) is holding its annual meeting one of the biggest of its kind in Gujarat. There are 81 member countries across the globe and some 3000 delegates are attending it for the first time outside the African continent.
The AGM on the first day was attended by the Finance Minister of India Mr Arun Jaitley who stressed on the country’s desire to deepen its economic ties with the African nations. He said that Indo-Africa together has immense potential to shape the future of the world. India has emerged as a big investor for the African nations bigger than China and the country’s credit line has helped the African nations in IT education, capacity building and higher education apart from financing the various projects.
Jaitley said, “If India is a bright spot, then Africa is not very far away. The partnership model between the two is a unique cornerstone in the voluntary partnership without any imposition.”
The CM of Gujarat Mr Vijay Rupani also highlighted the fact that many Gujarati firms are already in business in African nations in the field of pharmaceuticals, agriculture and export-import. He said that with this conference happening in the state it will further strengthen the existing relations between Gujarat and Africa along with that between India and Africa.
He said that Gujarat is on the development path when it comes to general and medical tourism, solar energy and agriculture. There is a lot of scope for the Gujarat-based companies to further enhance their business prospects in the African nations. There are many business to business (B2B) meetings lined up in the 5-day AGM that started on 22nd May. These meetings will help in increasing the business relation between the two continents.
The 52nd annual meeting is to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. At the end of the last fiscal, the trade between India and African countries stood at $52 billion, which is a five-fold increase from 2005.The country’s exports to Africa has gone up at an annual rate of 5.6% to $23 billion in 2016-17 from $14 billion in 2007-08. The imports saw the annual growth rate of 7.5% reaching $28 billion in 2016-17 from $20 billion in 2007-08.