India’s future Lines of Credit (LoCs) to Africa could focus on defence exports to meet the requirements of the continent, MD of EXIM Bank of India Harsha Bangari told. As India explores defence exports to Africa based on the growing interests for Indian defence equipment in the continent, future LoCs could cover defence, according to Bangari. Other potential areas for extending LoCs to Africa in future could include technology parks, renewables, health care and affordable housing, Bangari hinted.
She was speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing IndiaAfrica CII-EXIM Bank business conclave attended by top ministers from across the continent. The Indian government-supported LoCs in Africa stood at 195 to 42 countries with credit value of around $12 bn. The sectors covered under LoCs extended by EXIM Bank include various socio-economic development projects, from water sanitation to road infastructure to capacity building, Bangari said, adding presence of top ministers from Africa is testimony of India’s goodwill.
Bangari informed that IndiaAfrica trade during 2022-23 has touched nearly $100 bn, a record in itself. Besides, several Indian companies have set up units across Africa.
Defence has been a growing area of cooperation between India and Africa and in some cases ties are being revived after decades. It may be recalled that the IndiaAfrica Defence Dialogue was held on the sidelines of DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar last October.
On that occasion, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh invited African countries to explore Indian defence equipment and technologies, stating that India has emerged as a leading defence exporter in recent years.