India to focus on enhancing trade ties with West Africa

India is focussing on enhancing economic and trade co-operation with West African nations and has set sights on increasing the trade turnover with such African countries to around $20 billion by 2015 from the present $14.1 billion per annum.

In addition, the focus would be on acquisition of energy assets, including oil and gas, and penetrate African markets for the pharmaceutical sector with generic drugs taking the lead. As a step in this direction, India will be holding a three-day ‘India Show’ in Ghana from July 9 in which nearly 100 leading Indian companies, including Airtel, L&T, Reliance Industries, Sun Group, Ashok Leyland, Apollo Hospitals and Tata Group are taking part.

Besides, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma will lead a delegation of businessmen and officials to explore the vast business opportunities in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which includes nations such as Mali, Niger, Togo, Congo and Senegal, according to Vikramjit Singh Sahani of Sun Group and lead the delegation on behalf of Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The delegation comprised representatives from sectors such as fertilizer, oil and gas, agriculture, food processing, services, health, IT, telecom, manufacturing, energy, pharmaceuticals, textiles and education, Mr. Sahney said.

Interestingly, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the research arm of the Ministry of Defence, will also be showcasing its innovations that have civilian application and particularly in areas where there is suitability for the African sub-continent.

Source :