JOHANNESBURG - EFFORTS are under way to increase trade and tourism between India and African countries, including the development of a VIP airport in Zimbabwe, smart cities in African countries, and the establishment of a furniture corridor.
According to projections, India-Africa trade could double by 2021 if appropriate steps are taken by sovereign and corporate entities to raise the full benefit of the growth of the two trade partners.
A recent virtual India Africa Economic Forum last week examined the growth possibilities of trade and tourism between these old trading partners.
The meeting was attended by India’s ministry of external affairs, African ambassadors, diplomats based in New Delhi, business owners and industrialists.
President of the Indian Economic Trade Organisation, Dr Asif Iqbal, said it was the right time to reshape this relation.
“The collaboration between these two historic partners will result in a powerful association of tomorrow,” Iqbal said.
Some Indian merchants and business owners who live in Eastern Africa today can still trace their roots to the Omani suzerainty established in the 17th century over Zanzibar and its hinterland.
Colonialism also resulted in large numbers of Indians migrating to African countries. Former Indian federal minister Dr S Krishnakumar said 200 big joint ventures and enterprises connected with India were already in Africa and they had to be multiplied