India to negotiate FTA with AfCFTA: Prabhu

India to negotiate FTA with AfCFTA: Prabhu

New Delhi: India would negotiate a FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with the AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Agreement) which “will be unique in nature and will be beneficial to Africa’s needs”, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Sunday.

In his address at the inaugural session of the 13th CII-Exim Bank Conclave on “India-Africa Project Partnership”, he said the current bilateral trade between India and Africa of $53 billion was “far below potential and efforts needed to be made to step up the volume of trade” as well as to diversify the trade basket.

In this connection, Prabhu highlighted that the Indian government was “revamping export insurance and the Project Export Promotion Council” to provide a boost to exports to Africa.

In addition, the government was seeking to set up a new India-Africa Development Fund which would seek to synergise the ‘Lines of Credit’ as well as other export promotion and development programmes to bring about a more holistic development of the continent, he said.

Prabhu added that India intends to strengthen air connectivity links with Africa.