INDIA – India is looking to sign a development partnership agreement with Africa in a bid to expand partnership and strengthen business opportunities in the continent.

The agreement is set to help boost India’s plastic exports as a small quantity of India’s plastic products is exported to Africa directly and indirectly – through the Middle East countries.

Informed sources said that India is looking to expand its partnership with Africa on terms that will be comfortable and beneficial for the African economy.

“While talks have not been initiated yet due to diversions in the opportunities of the new businesses, India is all set to engage decision-makers in the African countries soon for the growth of both parties,” sources said.

India has initiated dialogues with several developed and developing countries of which negotiations with some of them are in an advanced stage.

With an aim to enhance business partnerships, talks with Canada, European Union, Israel, and other nations are progressing well.

Speaking about the scope of business partnership with Africa, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal said, “There is a need for a trade and investment agreement between India and Africa.

“The economic outlook, in the long run, is going to be promising for both India and Africa. This is where the markets and opportunities are present.”

For the growth of Africa, India will be able to offer new technologies that will help expand trade, commerce, business, investment, and opportunities for African citizens.

“India’s development partnership with Africa will be on terms that will be comfortable to Africans and will liberate its potential and not constrain its future. We want Africa to grow,” Goyal added.

Egypt, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia are some of the top consumers and importers of plastic products in Africa. Most of them are imported from China, the United States, and Germany, among others.

Spread throughout the country, the Indian plastic industry houses over 30,000 processing units including 2,000 exporters.

Notably, around 85-90 percent of the processing units belong to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that manufacture various products such as plastics and linoleum, houseware products, cordage, fishnets, floorcoverings, medical items, packaging items, plastic films, pipes, raw material.

The Asian country currently exports majorly plastic raw materials, films, sheets, woven sacks, fabrics, and tarpaulin.

The government of India targets the overall plastic industry in the country to triple the growth to Rs 10 lakh crore (US$126 billion) in the next four-five years from the current level of Rs 3 lakh crore (US$37.8 billion).

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