‘India is looking for Collaborative Trade Opportunities with African Countries’
| IOP Desk - 18 Mar 2023

Business and Trade Association launched in Delhi with a Session on "A treasure trove of global business opportunities"  

New Delhi, March 18, 2023:

“India is looking for collaborative trade opportunities in defense, food and agriculture with African countries,” said Mr. Puneet Kundal, IFS, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External affairs, Government of India while launching Business and Trade Association (BTA) recently at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

While addressing a session on ‘Global Business Opportunities’ organised by Business and Trade Association (BTA) as the Chief Guest, Mr. Puneet Kundal, gave a broad overview on the bilateral trade relations and opportunities between India and African countries and explained how since ages this bilateral trade is gaining momentum. Mr. Puneet Kundal said that India is the highest and fastest growing economy in the world and the growth opportunities are tremendous. He said that despite various adverse circumstances like war, economic crisis in the west and European countries, India is steady and growing at a fast pace. If we look at the India and African country relationship, there are around 12 million Indian people living in Africa and there is about 12% of total expatriate Indian diaspora living in Africa. He said that the service industry in Africa is dominated by Indians. He said that the infrastructure and construction is in high demand in African countries and Indian companies and the Indian government is helping African countries in setting up infrastructure in their countries. He also said that India is ready to help African countries by importing pigeon pulses whatever they produce to help the African countries bridge the gap in recovering their economy.

Mr. Onkareshwar Pandey, Chairman- Observer Global Media Group & Founder – Commonwealth Thought Leaders Forum while moderating the session on “A treasure trove of global business opportunities" said, India is all set to become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024-25. The credit of this exponential growth goes to the manufacturers, MSMEs and business fraternity who with their perseverance have made Bharat Atmanirbhar and also enhanced the capacity of manufacturing by exports to other countries.  

Several Ambassadors, Trade Secretaries, Minister Counsellors and country representatives from various African countries were present on this occasion. Mr. Ravi Saxena, Former Additional Secretary to Govt of Gujarat gave a brief presentation on the bilateral trade opportunities for Indian companies in their respective countries. Mr. Saxena, who is also a mentor of Business and Trade Association, spoke about the role of technology in promoting bilateral trade. He shared his experiences when he was representing Gujarat in various countries of Europe, USA, Canada, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan and elaborated on the potential of trade opportunities in those countries. The Session was supported by Gujarat Tourism, Government of Gujarat, Associate Partners were Indian Industries Association (IIA), Millennial India International Chamber of Commerce Industry & Agriculture (MIICCIA), and International Chamber of Indian Business (ICIB). The Golden Signatures Research & Consulting was the networking partner of this event.

Mr. D J Yadav, President BTA welcomed the guests and talked about "Technological Impact on Global Trade". He congratulated BTA for selecting such an important theme on global business opportunities. The name treasure trove truly reflects the golden opportunities of bilateral trade with other countries. He highlighted the brief of the program that how it’s going to be very fruitful for the MSMEs and industries as during the course of the event, B2B meetings have also been arranged for the companies and how the companies can collaborate for bilateral trade and global expansion. The launch of BTA by way of corporate video about its objective and vision was shown to the delegates present.

H.E. Prof Joyce Kakuramatsi, High Commissioner of Uganda in India said that India and Uganda established diplomatic relations in 1965 and each maintains a High Commission in the other's capital. The Indian High Commission in Kampala has concurrent accreditation to Burundi. During the last 25 years the exports of India to Uganda have increased at an annualized rate of 11.1%, from $58M in 1995 to $797M in 2020. During the last 25 years the exports of India to Uganda have increased at an annualized rate of 11.1%, from $58M in 1995 to $797M in 2020.

H.E. Ms. Jaqueline Mukangira, High Commissioner of Rwanda in India received huge applause when she strongly pitched about the business environment and investment opportunities in Rwanda and spoke about the equitable and balanced India -Rwanda trade relations between the two countries. She educated the audience about how her country is having gender parity with representation of more than 55% women representing the country in parliament and other important offices of the government. She spoke about how safe it is for women in Rwanda and how women entrepreneurs can also explore business opportunities. She spoke about the friendly policies, approval within a few hours of application, less paperwork and single window clearance. By playing the video of her country’s immense potential and Indians presence she also emphasized on expansion of Tourism sector in their country and welcomed the delegates to their country.

Mr. Amlan Bora, Chief Representative cum Trade & Investment Commissioner, Dutch Government Trade Offices (NBSO) in India spoke on the "Bilateral economic and commercial ties between #India and #Netherlands". He also outlined various collaborative options for businesses with Indian companies and how they are acting as a facilitator in bilateral trade.  He said that the Netherlands is India's 4th largest trading partner in Europe (2021-22) and the 4th largest investor in India. Bilateral trade touched an all-time high of USD 17 billion in 2021-22. This includes exports worth USD 12 billion and imports worth approx. The figures itself are very encouraging and reflect the overall business opportunities between these two countries. He also said that he has been attending lots of investment summits and roadshows all over India promoting bilateral trade.

Mrs. Rekha Sharma, Chairperson, International Affairs of Indian Industries Association spoke about the role of IIA in promoting bilateral trade between African countries and invited the delegates to grab the opportunity for expansion of their trade and businesses.

Mrs. Donata Chitsonga, First Secretary of Trade, High Commission of Malawi in India Mrs Donata Chitsonga, First Secretary (Trade) at the High Commission of Malawi in India talked about "Strengthening capacity building between India and Malawi". While expressing her sincere gratitude to India Mrs. Donata, informed about the strong bond that makes them feel like home if they are in Africa or India. She spoke about the medical and pharma exports from India. She said that around 20% of Indian companies are registered in Malawi and there is lots of scope in bilateral trade. The policy reforms and ease of doing business attracts lots of Indian companies to expand their business in Malawi. She said that Malawi exports lots of pulses like pigeon peas, soya, groundnut and coffee apart from other sectors like mining, agriculture and tourism. She warmly welcomed all the delegates for trade expansion in Malawi.

Mr. Cedrick Crowley, Minister Plenipotentiary, South African High Commission in India spoke about the ancient friendly relationship with India since Independence and how these two countries have had friendly relations since ages. He said for hundreds of years a lot of the Indian population has been residing in India and having trade with the country. He said that the main areas of our engagement are pharmaceuticals, IT, automobile, banking, defense and mining, but there are still other sectors where our companies are doing brisk business. He informed the audience that Several South African companies have invested in India. Leading among them are SANLAM [insurance], Life Healthcare [healthcare], Momentum [insurance], Airport Company of South Africa [Mumbai airport], First Rand bank, Old Mutual, SAB Miller [ brewery], NASPERS [ e-commerce], Smollan [retail ] among others.

Business and Trade Association was formally launched during the session followed by presentation of an Audio Visual Film. BTA is one of the exclusive business-oriented chambers with focus on upscaling of business and building collaborative networks by joining dots, making them unique and special. The launch was followed by signing & exchange of MoU between Business and Trade Association (BTA) & Millennial India International Chamber of Commerce Industry & Agriculture (MIICCIA)

Dr. G R Raghavender, Former Joint Secretary to Government of India and Mentor Business and Trade Association deliberated on the TRIPS and legal outlook on Global trade and shared his experiences when he had been representing India under various forums. He also spoke about revision of the copyright legislations and suggested certain reforms in legislations for global and bilateral trade to ease the process. He in his concluding remarks also thanked BTA and team for giving him the opportunity in addressing the vast audience.

Ms Khushbu Joshi anchored the entire event. 


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