New Dynamism in Business Ties

Sanjay Kirloskar
Chairman & MD, Kirloskar Brothers

The new dynamism in India-Africa Relations, exemplified by South-South cooperation and supported by the sharing of appropriate knowledge and technologies, is set to alter global trade and investment flows. This dynamism was reflected in the year 2010, the undeclared year of Africa in India, when the country played host to at least eight high-level dignitaries from Seychelles, Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya, Malawi and Ethiopia. The high profile visits throughout the year demonstrated that both India and Africa are keen to expand political and developmental cooperation.

The relationship between India and Africa has been pushed forward by a vibrant and proactive India Inc. The increasing footprint of Indian Industry can be seen and felt across the continent. Investment in Africa by India's private sector companies is growing and is being further facilitated by strategic alliances and joint ventures, open markets, foreign investment-friendly policies, access to regional and global markets, availability of natural resources and relative political stability. 

India has been at the forefront of developments in the area of ICT application, cluster development for SME growth, agriculture revolution and so many others. India has become the “software destination” of the world and its indigenous technologies have seen the evolution of an import-oriented economy in terms of food grains to a grain-exporting economy.  

The growth of India with its ‘AAA' or Appropriate, Adaptable and Affordable technologies has found resonance in the African economies. The growing ethos of the Indian private sector to localise production facilities in Africa has helped forge new partnerships. Indian business looks to find a strategic niche for itself as a key partner in each country's developmental priorities.

Developing this new business synergy has been the fulcrum of the work being done by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The annual CII Exim Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership, which debuted in 2005, has become the most definitive medium for Indian and African policymakers, corporate leaders and academics to converge for sharing knowledge and to network for collaborative businesses. We have achieved remarkable results from the last seven conclaves.

With the growing political closeness, Indian industry feels that it is time to collaborate in areas which could exemplify the growing South-South cooperation.

This is the dawn of the African century.

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