India becomes Africa’s fourth largest trading partner – Report

India has become Africa’s fourth largest national trade partner after trade between the country and the continent rose more than 10 folds between 2001 and 2014 – a joint report by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Exim Bank of India (Exim India) says.

According to the report, titled, “Deepening South-South Trade: An Analysis of Africa and India’s Trade and Investment,” Africa-India trade jumped from $7.2 billion in 2001, representing 2.7 per cent of all African trade to about $78 billion in 2014, representing 6.8 per cent of Africa’s total trade and 8 per cent of India’s total trade.

However, the Africa-India trade volume dropped to about $55 billion in 2017.

In a press release copied to, the report indicates that Africa’s exports to India remain essentially concentrated in crude oil and primary commodities while India’s exports to Africa are more diversified and include more manufactured and technological-content products.

The report added that Africa’s ongoing efforts at diversifying sources of growth and structural transformation would see the composition of trade evolve to include a greater proportion of manufactured, non-traditional and agro-processed exports from Africa to India.

Per the findings of the report, it is estimated that the value of the bilateral trade potential between Africa and India is in excess of $42 billion per annum

In line with the increase in trade, the report says the attractiveness of Africa and India as investment destinations has improved in recent years, largely driven by strong economic growth, an improved business environment and better investment climate and regulations, high rates of return on investment, and a rising consumer market, among others.

India’s foreign direct investment (FDI) stock in Africa rose from $11.9 billion in 2010 to $15.2 billion in 2014.

Over the same period, Africa’s FDI stock in India increased from $57 billion to $73.3 billion, with investments in sectors like oil and gas, agriculture, retail, health care and telecommunications.        

At the same time, India’s development cooperation with African countries has evolved to incorporate varied avenues such as trade and investment, capacity building, technology transfer, and grants and concessional loans, the report said.

By Bismark Elorm Addo

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