ITC to help boost trade between East Africa and India
The International Trade Centre (ITC) is to spearhead a six-year effort to unleash the potential of untapped trade between East Africa and India. ITC’s Executive Director Arancha González revealed details of a project - Supporting India’s Trade Preferences for Africa (SITA) - which will run from 2014-2020.
Speaking in New Delhi on 9 March 2104 at the 10th CII-Exim Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership, Ms. González said SITA will promote exports from five East African countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda – to India, through investments and the transfer of skills.
‘SITA will be ITC’s largest project ever to promote trade and investment cooperation. It will offer the benefits of South-South cooperation by linking the private sector in Africa with India,’ Ms. González said.
SITA, which is funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), will be a public-private partnership, driven by the Indian private sector and supported by the public sector.
‘It will be a privilege to work with DFID on this project. Together with our partners in the private and public sectors we will work to ensure that trade between Africa and India blossoms, enabling businesses on both sides of the Indian Ocean to increase their share of global trade,’ Ms. González said.
Despite the rapid increase in trade between India and Africa – which could reach US$ 90 billion annually in 2014 – there is still huge potential to further expand this trade. Through SITA, ITC and its partners aim to diversify the range of products being traded. This will allow for an increase in business transactions between India and the five East African countries, and help create jobs and income opportunities.
‘DFID is very pleased to be supporting this exciting new South-South project. The project will be focused on increasing higher-value exports from East African countries to the growing Indian market,’ said Sam Sharpe, Head of DFID’s India office.
‘We are excited to be partnering with the International Trade Centre, who already has expertise in this field. It is widely understood in India and Africa that there is huge potential for expanding South-South trade and investment, and DFID looks forward to working on this ambitious agenda together with African and Indian stakeholders.’
By promoting public-private dialogue and partnerships, East African companies will gain greater access to the Indian market. Through the transfer of knowledge, expertise and technology, Indian companies and organizations will play a crucial role in improving the skills and capacities of businesses and institutions in East Africa.
Through better linkages between East African and Indian companies, SITA will help foster an improved business environment. It will also aim to increase the competitiveness of East African companies, paving the way for a greater flow of goods and services between Africa and India.
Note to Editor:
The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK government’s effort to fight global poverty. DFID operates under the International Development Act, which came into force in 2002 and establishes the legal basis for UK development assistance. DFID’s overall aim is to reduce poverty in poorer countries, in particular through achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid for Trade agenda and the Millennium Development Goals.
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