India was the world’s largest producer of cashew nuts until 2015 when Ivory Coast took over the mantle with an output of over 700 000 tonnes.
The West African country is looking at increasing their output to 1 million tonnes by 2020, according to Vice-President, Daniel Kablan Duncan who is in India for the Annual General Meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
“India has the expertise for transformation, we are looking forward to having a joint venture with them, to avoid exporting raw cashews.
“An industry player like OLAM is in Ivory Coast, producing 40 000 tons already, we want to deepen the relationship between the SMEs in Africa and India,” he said.
On the part of cocoa, another crop that Ivory Coast is a leader in global production, the Veep said they were seeking enhanced cooperation in that area as well. Ivory Coast is keen on promoting south-south cooperation.
“In cocoa production for example, Ivory Coast is the number producer in the world, we can do the same thing here, processing them in the country, thereby increasing the local value,” he added.
The India Exim bank currently has a branch in Ivory Coast, which situation is expected to ease plans for increased mutual cooperation for the country and the entire sub region.
India is Africa’s 5th largest source of Foreign direct investment. Gujarat, the birth place of the father of India’s nationalism, Mahatma Gandhi is the venue for the AFDB’s AGM.
Sessions will focus on how to boost areas such as trade and investment, agriculture, renewable energy and manufacturing in both regions.
There is also a focus on unlocking the potential of African entrepreneurs to accelerate Africa’s industrial transformation.
Bilateral trade between Africa and India has risen five fold in the past decade, from $11.9 billion in 2005 to $56.7 billion in 2016. The main objective of the conference is to further strengthen trade and investments across various sectors.
Foreign direct Investment inflows to India from Africa has been dominated by investment from Mauritius with 33.2% of India’s overall FDI inflow. Other African countries investing in India include South Africa, Seychelles, Morocco and Kenya.