059_Global12_InFocus_IndiainAfrica_V6

Global issue 12

In FocusIndia in Africa “Every Indian company wanting to expand globally is looking at Africa” IntervIew Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) With Africa emerging as the destination of billion, a young workforce, vast arable land want to get first-mover advantage in Africa, choice for many overseas companies, India’s and natural resources, and a GDP growth building on historical friendship. We believe trade and investment interests in this vast of over 5 percent, Africa has emerged as that Indian companies can offer the affordable, continent are on the rise – currently more an attractive destination for both trade accessible and sustainable goods and services than 200 major companies are doing busi- and investment. This synchs well with the that a growing Africa requires. Indian compa- ness there. Here, Chandrajit Banerjee, Direc- strengths of Indian companies in emerging nies are not just engaging in trade and invest- tor General of the Confederation of Indian markets, as they are well positioned to ex- ment, but also working with governments and Industry (CII) – India’s premier business as- pand their footprint in Africa. India’s trade communities for building a presence over the sociation – talks toGlobal about why Africa, with Africa has surged from $20 billion in longer term. The development of Africa offers with its growing and dynamic economy, has 2006–07 to $55 billion in 2011–12. huge opportunities across sectors, including become the “destination of choice” for many manufacturing, infrastructure, services and of the country’s enterprises. He also explains How many Indian companies operate in agriculture. At the same time, India too can CII’s active agenda in exploring new avenues Africa today and what is the area of great- benefit from Africa’s natural resources to fuel of partnership to enhance business opportuni- est concentration? its own growth. Governance has been an issue, ties for both sides – and how, as more African As per our estimate, more than 200 Indian but as more and more countries move towards countries embrace democracy and stability, companies across scale are doing business democracy and stable investment climates, we these opportunities can only grow. in Africa across sectors. The list is con- believe the coming decades will see the action stantly expanding. They are present in all moving to Africa. Global: Why was the CII set up and what is African geographies, notably Southern Af- its primary role? rica and Eastern Africa. How do you see future trends? Chandrajit Banerjee: The Confedera- Africa is an exciting and happening space. tion has evolved from its establishment in Which sectors are the most attractive to Over the last decade, substantial progress has 1895 as a membership-driven industry as- Indian companies? What are some of the been made in growth and human develop- sociation. Its role is multidimensional and major companies involved in these areas? ment. This imparts an inherent momentum to extends to working with government on Africa is investment-hungry and Indian the African economy. Governments across the policy issues relating to industry and eco- companies are working across sectors. continent are placing increasing stress on forg- nomic growth, supporting competitiveness Companies like Tata Group, Godrej Group, ing attractive business environments to attract of Indian industry through ten dedicated Bharti, Kirloskar, Mahindra & Mahindra, investments. We see growing global linkages centres of excellence, facilitating the en- Escorts, Apollo, Essar and many others in Africa and we are well placed to leverage gagement of Indian companies overseas are doing business in Africa. The Tata the emerging opportunities to mutual benefit. and building the India brand, and enabling Group is present in many manufactur- industry’s engagement with society to fos- ing and services sectors, while Bharti has Any other points of interest? ter inclusive growth and development. CII entered the telecommunications market. CII organises the CII-EXIM Bank Con- works through a partnership model of op- Other companies are active in FMCG, clave on India-Africa Project Partnership erations with institutions across the globe. automotives, IT, power and energy, mining every year in March. The next one is sched- and minerals, banking, etc. Infrastructure uled to take place from 17-19 March 2013. How do you explain the rapid expansion of such as railways, construction, roads and The CII Conclave has acted as a platform Indian companies in Africa – i.e. is Africa’s bridges, is also an area of great interest. for African governments and businesses economic growth the prime driver for Indian to engage with their Indian counterparts to investments or does Africa form part of the How important is Africa to Indian compa- discuss project opportunities in Africa. At global growth strategy for Indian companies? nies? Why? the last conclave, held in March 2012, two India enjoys historic trade and people-to- Every Indian company wanting to expand heads of state along with 35 ministers from people linkages with Africa. As Indian globally is looking at Africa as the land of a different African countries participated, companies have acquired global ambitions, new set of opportunities. We believe that just and discussions centred around more than Africa has emerged on the natural radar as as India and China became global growth en- 200 projects worth over $30 billion. CII has a destination of choice. Africa is a continent gines, Africa too will shortly become a major a very active agenda on Africa which we of opportunities. With a population of over a growth driver for the world. Indian companies pursue very diligently.● globalfourth quarter 2012 www.global-briefing.org l59


Global issue 12
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