Africa is emerging as a key player in the printing, plastic, and packaging industry where plastics good high in demand. India needs to take advantage of the opportunity and should move forward toward catering to the demand, mentioned Mr. Amararam Gujar, Director [E&SA], Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India in the Inaugural Session of India – Africa Business Promotion, Challenges and Opportunities organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Mr. Amararam Gujar apprised that India has a long-standing relationship with Africa. India and Africa have been closely working on many projects indicating that India has been a development partner in Africa’s growth. India has one of the largest trading and investment partner. India offers Africa numerous opportunities to multiply its space and business.
Ms. Padma Ganesh, Deputy Secretary, FT(Africa), Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India while talking about the robust and long term relations shared between India and Africa, mentioned that due to the change in business and trade practices here is opportunities for growth and development between both the nations in the times to come.
She mentioned that with Africa being one of the largest trading partners with India, items like petroleum, pharmaceutical, energy, machinery and equipment, cereals, nuts, plastics have been the major items for trade. For the future, there is immense scope for cultural diversification and expansion of the trade basket between India and Africa.
H.E. Mr. Ajit Gupte, Ambassador of India to the Arab Republic of Egypt deliberated about the growing bilateral trade between both nations that are in the trade baskets of areas like tobacco, automobile, cotton yarns, petroleum, chemical fertilizers, etc. He shared that Egypt has been one of the largest export destinations for India and, many large Indian companies have invested in Africa for years. Talking about the opportunities, H.E. Mr. Ajit Gupte mentioned sectors for business growth and investment which included renewable energy, solar power, irrigation, agriculture, infrastructure, textiles, IT, education, and many more. He emphasized that there will be demand for recyclable products in Egypt in times to come.
H.E. Mr. N.J. Gangte, High Commissioner of India to Zambia mentioned that there is an increase in the demand for printed material in Zambia offering opportunities for trade and business to other nations. With a steady increase in the trade basket between India and Zambia, he mentioned that there is a need to grow it further and expand in other sectors like equipment, machinery, packaging, plastics, etc. He emphasized that Indian companies should also look at industrial packaging and sustainable plastics to meet future goals and become environmentally friendly.
H.E. Mr. G V Srinivas, Ambassador of India to Senegal, Cabo Verde, The Gambia, and Guinea Bissau emphasized that Indian companies can come forward to look at pharmaceuticals packaging as it’s in demand in the current times. He suggested that there is a need for a mechanism to connect right-sized companies in both nations. He mentioned that there is a need for involvement of the SME sector and stringent quality checks should be placed on the products being sent to both nations.
H.E. Mr. Prashant Agrawal, High Commissioner of India to Namibia opined that there is a need to publish more textbooks and ITC solutions for the newspaper in Namibia. There is a need for quick packaging solutions and units in Namibia which will help to generate employment.
H.E. Mr. Ravindra Prasad Jaiswal, Ambassador, Embassy of India, Sudan discussed the relationship shared between the nation that has been optimistic and growing steadily over the years. He discussed the reform initiated by Sudan to enable ease of doing business, liberalization of trade and promoting business ties, etc. He mentioned the sectors of business opportunities in Sudan which included infrastructure, transport, agriculture, mining, energy, agro-processing, SMEs, manufacturing, etc. He mentioned that there is a need for a steady supply of printing and packaging material in Sudan which will help to increase its demand and supply.
H.E. Mr. Abhay Thakur, High Commissioner of India to Nigeria mentioned that Printing, Plastics, and Packaging are critical areas of engagement between India and Nigeria. Biodegradable plastics and packaging is growing at a fast rate and engagement in manufacturing, trading and new technologies can offer immense opportunities.
H.E. Mrs. Judith K.K. Kan’goma Kapijimpanga, High Commissioner of Zambia to India mentioned that Zambia looks forward to attracting investors from paper mills in India. She shared that the government has liberalized the economy to allow private players and the demand for printed products is high and opportunities for packaging are high in the wake of priority areas like food processing, clothing, electric goods, etc.
Mr. Ashish Sinha, Chargé d’Affaires, High Commission of India to Kenya while discussing the challenges faced by the industry amidst the pandemic, mentioned that trade and investment have been an important part of the relationship between India and Africa. He mentioned that Africa is a blooming region and, India needs to be competitive in a futuristic manner. He informed that Africa has lines of credit that offer economic and business development opportunities Africa.
Mr. Prem Anveshi, Managing Director, Futurex Trade Fair & Events Pvt. Ltd discussed the changes and advantages of doing business interactions with the coming of virtual conferences and exhibitions.
Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, President, PHDCCI in his presidential address deliberated about the long-term relationship shared between India and Africa where both the nations have realized the potential of each other and support each other in times of need. For India, Africa is the continent for the future for business, economic, and cultural development. He discussed the areas of the corporation that included skill development, healthcare, automobile, textiles, leather good, mining infrastructure development, IT, tourism. He informed that PHD Chamber with support of Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt of India is putting up India Pavilion with 27 Companies showcasing sectors like Packaging, Printing, Plastics, Paper and allied sectors in AFRICA 3P Virtual Expo.
Mr. Vivek Agarwala, Chair, International Affairs Committee for Africa, PHDCCI in his theme address apprised about the relationship shared between India and African that is increasing with changing times and growing business needs. He mentioned that India and Africa have emerged as strong trading and business partners in numerous verticals with bilateral trade increasing for years. With packaging been a blooming sector for India, it offers opportunities for Africa to increase trade reaction in the same explore other areas for business and trade engagements.
Mr. Jeevaraj Pillai, Co-Chair, Packaging Committee, PHDCCI while proposing a formal vote of thanks to all the delegates and participants assured that PHDCCI will assure continuous expansion of packaging and other associated industries so that its demand is generated globally.
The session was moderated by Mr. Naveen Seth, Assistant Secretary-General, PHDCCI, and was attended by over 200 industry members from India and Africa. PHDCCI’s session was supported by DLF India; Multani Pharmaceuticals; UFLEX; JK Tyre & Industries; Marble City; Paramount Cables; SMC Investments and Advisors; Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic; Comtech Interio; DCM Shriram Industries; Radico Khaitan; R.E. Rogers India; Ajit Industries; Synergy Environics; Timberworkz; Jindal Stainless; P S Bedi & Co; and IFFCO.