Presenting India as a bigger investor in African continent compared to China, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley while addressing the opening session of the African Development Bank’s annual meet on Monday said Indo-Africa partnerships provides limitless possibilities and “can together shape the future of the world.”
“India’s sustained effort is making an impact on Africa… India’s share of announced greenfield projects grew from 3.3 percent in 2003-08 to 6.1 percent in 2009-15. In the same period, the investment from China decreased from 4.9 percent to 3.3 percent,” said Jaitley said at the 52nd annual general meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) at Gandhinagar, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to attend the proceedings on Tuesday.
“India is among the most important emerging investors in Africa. In terms of greenfield projects, India was the fourth largest investor with 45 projects in 2015, after the United States, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates,” he added while stressing on how India was a leading investor from Asia.
The 2017 African Economic Outlook released on Monday at the AfDB summit showed that China led greenfield investment in Africa for 2015-16 (USD 38.4 billion), while during the same year India invested USD 2.2 billion across 64 projects in Africa.
Jaitley said that Indo-Africa cooperation was “not a one-off event” but presented a unique partnership model of “voluntary partnership” sans any conditionality. “Our partnership model is unique. Being a emerging economy itself, we understand that a prescriptive model of partnership does not work. Therefore the cornerstone of our policy is voluntary partnership. It is demand driven and devoid of any conditionality. We do not impose and leave it on our partners to decide what is best for them. We believe this is the most effective form of partnership.”
“India-Africa partnership provides limitless possibilities. If India is the bright spot in the world’s economy, Africa is also not far behind. In 2015, Africa was the second fastest growing region in the world after East Asia. If we can translate aspirations of one-third of the humanity into reality, it would do wonders. India and Africa can together shape the future of the world.”
Later while interacting with media, Jaitley said it was important in terms of India’s international diplomacy to maintain good relations with African nations who were large in numbers and see that they also grow. “Looking at the importance of this meet, Prime Minister Modi will be attending the proceedings tomorrow, while I also with two of my ministers in the finance department (Arjun Ram Meghwal and Santosh Gangwar) will remain present for the next couple of days in Gandhinagar,” the minister added.