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Africa plays important role in India’s foreign policy: EAM Jaishankar

Wed, 20 Jul 2022   |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

New Delhi, Jul 19 (PTI) The African continent plays an important role in India’s foreign policy outlook and the two-way engagement has seen a major upswing in the last eight years, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday.

Showcasing India’s development agenda for Africa, Jaishankar said India has extended concessional loans of over USD 12.3 billion to it and completed 197 projects so far.

In an address at the 17th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on ‘India-Africa Growth Partnership’, he also said that another 65 projects are currently under execution and 81 are at the pre-execution stage.

On trade and economics, Jaishankar said India’s bilateral trade with Africa has reached USD 89.5 billion in 2021-22 compared to USD 56 billion the previous year.

“With cumulative investments at USD 73.9 billion from 1996-2021, India is among the top five investors in Africa,” he said.

The minister said responsible governance requires that critical needs of people are not held “hostage” by the vagaries and uncertainties of international markets.

“Food security and energy security have come into special focus in the context of the Ukraine conflict. Here too, India and Africa can work together for mutual benefit,” he said.

The external affairs minister elaborated on the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the knock-on effects of the Ukraine crisis.

“The recent turbulence – whether it is the Covid pandemic or the knock-on effects of the Ukraine conflict – obviously hold lessons for our ties too. All nations, big and small, have become more aware of their vulnerabilities and external exposures,” he said.

“Covid taught us the importance of greater investment in health infrastructure and also in better preparedness. We know too the value of resilient and reliable supply chains so that problems in one geography do not engulf the entire world economy,” Jaishankar added.

In terms of responses, the actual potential of digital delivery was demonstrated during the pandemic in different domains, he said.

“It is, therefore, worth considering how we, India and Africa, can make the triad of health, digital and green growth the focus of our collaboration. This is as much a business opportunity as it is a public policy,” Jaishankar added.



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