India-Africa Relations

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by RPK, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

    Jun 29, 2009
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    Siege of Africa: China, India battle it out

    Siege of Africa: China, India battle it out : Single Page View

    Prejudice dies hard. In 1972, Manubhai Madhvani was arrested in Uganda for being of Indian origin and jailed in a dungeon nicknamed the "Singapore Block".

    Dictator Idi Amin snatched all his wealth and expelled him from the country. To this day, the 79-year-old businessman counts himself lucky for not having been killed then.

    It is events like this — and the all-too-familiar images of disease, poverty and squalor — that have shaped the stereotype of Africa in the minds of Indians. Somehow, we may have been a bit late to note when the continent began to change for the better.

    In fact, Madhvani returned to Uganda in 1985 and rebuilt his family business in sugar and hospitality to a $200 million empire. Uganda, and many other African countries, reformed their economies and opened up to foreign investment.

    But before we responded to the new Africa, someone else did. In a well-planned and executed strategy, China has been thrusting itself in all spheres of economic activity in the continent.

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    The Chinese "invasion" of Africa is veritably the biggest state-run investment in the last decade. They are everywhere. State-run Chinese firms are building bridges, roads, telecom networks, airports, and generally boosting the infrastructure all around. In return, they are getting access to natural resources.

    China is now Africa’s biggest trading partner, ahead of the US. More than a million Chinese workers are now based there. After the European colonists left Africa, the Chinese have been dubbed the "neo-colonists".

    But recently, a new picture is emerging in our image of Africa. And happily, its tone is Indian. Unlike China’s push driven by its government, the Indian march to Africa has been led by the private sector.

    After proving themselves in fields as varied as automobiles, telecom and education in recent years, Indian businesses are gradually upping the ante.

    Big ticket investments and acquisitions are emerging. In other words, Africa has become the new frontier for Indian companies to break into.

    Steadily, the profile and the scale of Indian investments in Africa is going up.

    In early August, the Essar group bought a refinery in Mombasa, Kenya. Essar is no stranger there. Its $450 million investment in the country’s mobile telephony market is yielding results — Essar’s brand ‘Yu’ has 400,000 subscribers.

    There’s considerable excitement around Bharti group’s on-going talks for a merger with MTN, Africa’s biggest telecom company, which could create the world’s third largest telecom company.

    NIIT has grown to be one of the continent’s biggest firms in information technology training, having taught 150,000 students across 55 centres.

    The Tata group, the Mahindras and Ashok Leyland have been selling vehicles for more than five years now with increasing success. Indica cars are a common sight in Johannesburg. Sales have moved up from 5,000 to 20,000 a year.

    Consumer products company Marico is already in Egypt and South Africa through a carefully orchestrated strategy of buying out local hair care brands. This is just a snapshot of the 42-odd frontline firms from India that have answered the call to Africa.

    Why Africa

    What have all these companies sensed in the form of the African opportunity? When asked why Africa, Raman Dhawan, managing director of Tata Africa Holdings, asks why not.

    "We are expecting Africa to grow substantially over the next two decades. We are here like any other international company. We are no different from the rest of the world.

    They are looking at growth here, so why shouldn’t we? If you can be a good international company, you will find growth in Africa."

    After decades of living on the fringes when the West dominated and Asia rose, the African continent is finally coming on its own.

    "Since the early 1990s, African countries went through serious structural reforms, improvement of economic management, incentives to develop the private sector, important changes in governance legislation in doing business," says Jose Gijon, head of Africa and Middle East desk, OECD Development Centre.

    One slice of the opportunity is a middle class numbering anywhere between 350 million and 500 million, larger than India’s. And per capita income is growing.

    The continent clocked an impressive growth rate of 5.2 per cent in 2008. Of course, with recession and a crash in commodity prices, the growth may taper to 2 per cent.

    But its trade links with China and India hold out hope that it could recover in tandem with these countries, says a recent article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR).

    Besides, as Professor Vijay Mahajan of McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin and author of the book Africa Rising says, "When you look at (opportunities in) the world, and take out India and China, so where do you go next? The logical answer is Africa."

    But it isn’t as if the risks have disappeared. In fact, sudden regime changes, violence and logistical nightmares continue to slow down businesses. But for the most part, it remains a high-risk, high return game.

    "In Africa, any country depends on the leadership of the right person. Uganda, for instance, is becoming more open to foreign investment due to President Musevani who is all for an open economy and free trade," says Madhvani.

    Today, the global economic crisis has opened up newer opportunities for Asian investors.

    "Several big projects in Africa are on hold. Western investors are losing interest in some places," says Andrew Mold, senior economist and head of the Finance for Development Unit, OECD Development Centre. The Chinese and now, the Indian investors, are filling in that breach.

    The one advantage Indians can push home is the presence of the diaspora. The ties are age-old. Madhvani’s family migrated to Uganda in 1893. There are several other business families — from the Mehtas to the ComCraft Group — that are particularly active in East Africa.

    Keeping Up with the Chinese

    As in everything else, the Chinese are playing a game of scale in Africa. The Indian surge may not yet match that.

    While India put in $2 billion in the continent last year, the Chinese committed investments of about $8 billion dollars in 2009, according to the HBR article.

    "For one, almost all of China’s investments tend to be state-led, while India’s investment is private," says Mold. Chinese leaders are also engaging with their African counterparts much more than the Indians do.

    Indian businessmen agree that reducing the gap with the Chinese will be tough.

    "We are nearly five to seven years late," admits Prashant Ruia, group CEO of Essar. Competing with the Chinese is impossible, to be honest. They are building roads, airports and projects as a grant. They are taking a 20 year investment risk — something private companies like us cannot do. We do not have the kind of backing that the Chinese have, they are present on a much larger scale too. They have had a head start and have been there for the past 10 years," adds Ruia.

    This state-driven strategy to give infrastructure and take natural resources is the hallmark of China’s African policy. Take the $9-billion deal it struck in Congo.

    China will build roads, rail networks, hospitals and schools in return for access to cobalt and copper. (It’s a different matter that the IMF has raised a red flag over Congo’s indebtedness from this deal and threatened to cancel its debt relief to that country.)

    Indian businesses that have made a beachhead in South Africa and to an extent Nigeria, are still coming to grips with the rest of Africa. Indians are much more comfortable in the English speaking countries.

    They have not yet fully ventured in the French or Portuguese speaking areas.

    "But the Chinese do go everywhere – they don’t speak English. Yet they do business everywhere," says Somdeep Banerjee, head of Tata Steel KZN.

    Apart from the first wave of companies, much of corporate India is still Africa-shy. The problem is of perceptions, and of lack of information," says Navdeep Suri, Indian consul-general in Johannesburg. "There’s a lot of opportunity, and we have nothing to fear but our ignorance."

    It’s not that China’s progress has been without any problems. For instance, in Congo valley, Chinese state-run enterprises had reneged on significant deals to source copper from the mines in Kantago district, after their prices fell.

    China has been accused of propping up dictatorships and other repressive regimes with direct military aid and favours.

    That has generated considerable ill-will and wariness towards China across Africa. Already, China’s growing presence in Zambia has met with internal resistance.

    India is doing better.

    "The Indian companies here, from Tata to Mahindra & Mahindra, are doing a phenomenally good job," says Martyn Davies, CEO of South African research group Frontier Advisory and director of the Asia Business Centre at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg.

    "They are extremely well accepted in South Africa, running very, very good business. And this is FDI that is welcomed by almost all African countries."

    It’s the same story with Indian managers, who are usually at ease with Africans in those clubs where local managers hang out. Indian managers talk to local African managers in ways the Chinese never do.

    Rules of the Game

    More than a century ago, Mohandas Gandhi find his calling there and today, many Indian companies find South Africa the perfect gateway to the rest of the continent. The Tatas are present in 11 countries, but the biggest presence is in South Africa.

    The Tatas plan a presence in all of Africa, and with all of Tata. Tata investments in Africa are closing in on the half billion dollar mark. The Tatas plan on taking that close to a billion dollars over the next few years, basing themselves in South Africa.

    "We do feel that the benchmark will be South Africa for the whole of Africa," says Dhawan. "We can reach the continent much better if we are established in South Africa."

    Tatas are also learning the rules of the game along the way. Banerjee of Tata Steel KZN, while trying to set up a ferrochrome plant, realised that environment is a big concern in South Africa, unlike other countries.

    The company had to wait for three years to get environmental clearance. Tatas won’t miss this nuance again, he says.

    There are other nuances that Indian companies must understand. "In South Africa if you want to expand and do well, you need to have ‘empowerment partners’. The government is ensuring that there are reservations and the black community get jobs now. In mineral resources development… they have to have an equity stake in your business. This might become a norm in manufacturing as well. We have known this for a long time. Zimbabwe and Namibia also have similar laws,"

    says Banerjee.

    Venturing into a new country requires local knowledge. And NIIT chose to work with local partners in all the eight countries that it operates in.

    "This way we will have more access points — somebody who has been in the country, knows the job and skills requirements, and also knows the student’s capabilities," says G. Raghavan, president of global individual learnings solutions at NIIT.

    Rather than run smack into Chinese competition in Africa, one tactic to tap Africa is to go to countries where China isn’t as active. That’s what the Essar group did. It focussed on East Africa. It figured that the region was largely English speaking and had lower political risks.

    Yet even that proved to be a tough ask. It took Essar Oil nearly two and a half years to negotiate and get a 50 per cent stake in the Mombasa refinery where a set of investors led by Shell were offloading (the other half was owned by the Kenyan government).

    In the middle of its negotiations with Kenya, Essar discovered an MoU between the Kenyan and Libyan governments that called for preference to Libyan companies. When the Libyans made an offer for the same stake, Essar was almost out of the reckoning. Essar even tried for a deal with the Libyans but did not succeed.

    Only when the Libyans eventually pulled out for their own reasons, did Essar get back in the reckoning. "The feeling was earlier that the Indians have come as opportunists, to take away resources. The Kenyan government had to be convinced that we aren’t traders, but long-term investors," says a senior executive with knowledge of the talks.

    The Healing Opportunity

    A bigger Indian presence is in the Africa no one wants to know, the Africa one dreads.

    The scourge of HIV is widespread and it is the cheap antiretroviral drugs from Indian companies that are the mainstay of treatment in most parts.

    "Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 10 per cent of the world population but has 75 per cent of the HIV burden," says Skhumbuzo Ngozwana, chairman of South Africa’s National Association of Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers.

    The number of people in need of immediate treatment in Sub-Saharan Africa is four million, he says.

    While Indian generic drugs are far cheaper than their branded counterparts, many African countries still don’t find them affordable enough. South Africa is rolling out a $500 million plan to provide antiretrovirals to everyone who needs it. Such plans depend on international aid.

    And that means business for Indian companies of the likes of Cipla, Ranbaxy, Aurobindo and Dr Reddy’s.

    The companies need approval principally by the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO). And that comes with its own challenges. Ranbaxy is fighting FDA charges that it falsified vital data.

    Aurobindo has gone to court in South Africa over a contract given to another firm when it had offered the lower tender. And many Indian companies have had to fight allegations over sub-standard medicine.

    "India is probably where Japan was in the 1960s and 70s, trying to establish itself in the global marketplace," says Vikash Salig, South Africa CEO at Dr. Reddy’s Labs (Pty) Ltd.

    "And sadly one of the strategies that we find emanates from vested interests and to some extent from innovator companies is to place concern around quality, safety and efficacy of generic products. And given the momentum India has created, they seem to be facing the brunt of it."

    Indian companies produce precisely what Africa needs. "The generic penetration in South Africa is far, far too low," says Salig. "The cost of private healthcare is increasing at a rate that is becoming more and more unaffordable. India offers a wonderful base of high quality low-cost manufacturing operations. The ability to collaborate with a powerhouse like India can only help us in South Africa."

    Despite the controversies, Indian companies have managed to build trust in the market.

    "If you look at the whole of Indian pharma, the Ciplas of this world, Aurobindo, Matrix, they supply a lot of the treatment programmes on the continent. There is a growing acceptance that drugs from India are of very good quality, they are efficacious, they are safe, and of course they are affordable," says Ngozwana.

    Harry Broadman, managing director of Albright Stonebridge Group and the author of Africa’s Silk Road reckons the way India invests in Sub-Saharan Africa is the same as its approach in other parts of the world.

    "India’s engagement in Africa is not a political engagement but there’s a role to be played in trade, investment and finance. India’s comparative advantage in Sub-Saharan Africa has been very under-stated. Many people have focussed excessively on China," he says.

    Two different countries, two different strategies. One is trying to impress with state-sponsored might, giving away goodies and walking away with plum deals.

    The other is sending its private citizens to build trust, radiate through the people and build long-lasting businesses. The battle is intense, the stakes high. The result is in the hands of the African people. At last, power to Africa.
  3. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

    Jun 29, 2009
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    China and India in Africa

    Researchers, experts, diplomats and journalists from four continents gathered at the Nordic Africa Institute in September for one of the first major international conferences surveying the surging presence in Africa of the emerging giants China and India.

    Opened by the Swedish Minister for Development Cooperation Ms Gunilla Carlsson and the ambassadors to Sweden of China, India and Sudan, the conference attracted, in the words of Nordic Africa Institute research director Fantu Cheru at the opening session, some of “the best and the brightest” among scholars and experts for an exchange ranging from geopolitics to peacekeeping via investment policies and raw materials.

    Such notables as the renowned Egyptian scholar Samir Amin were among the participants, with Amin holding a public lecture at the end of the first conference day on the critical topic of “The new scramble for Africa: The roles of China and India”.

    In the words of conference convener Fantu Cheru, “China’s and India’s rise poses a number of challenges, [but] on balance, the opportunities should outweigh the threats if managed correctly.”

    “Regrettably, missing from the new China-India-Africa cooperation arrangements is a clear and coordinated strategy by African leaders on how to engage these emerging powers constructively. While both China and India know what they want from Africa, African countries have yet to develop a common framework on how to negotiate with China and India from a stronger and better-informed platform,” Cheru has pointed out.

    Gunilla Carlsson, Swedish Minister for Development Cooperation made a similar point in her opening speech at the conference, noting that “the growing presence of China and India in Africa could be a moment of immense opportunity, with numerous positive spin-off effects”.

    Anticipating critical viewpoints, the ambassador to Sweden of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Chen MingMing, in his speech at the opening session pointed to the common experience of colonial oppression of China and Africa. “China”, he said, “has a close bond of friendship and solidarity with Africa.” Ambassador Chen underscored that China is a long-term development partner, with a moral obligation to help Africa. “China”, he said, “is proud of its past record in Africa.”

    The Indian ambassador Mrs Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa equally emphasized the shared history of poverty and colonialism and bonds between Africa and India that go back more than a century. Citing India’s liberation leader Gandhi and his experience with racial oppression in South Africa she pointed to India’s support for liberation in Africa since the 1950s. Ambassador Wadhwa noted that many African leaders have studied in India and that over 50,000 Africans study in India every year.

    Sudan’s ambassador Moses M. Akol injected a note of skepticism into the discussion with his speech, noting that some “view China’s ascendancy to the helm of the international financial system with a great deal of apprehension”.

    Samir Amin, himself a living monument of anti-colonialism, in his lecture at the end of the first day of the conference also spoke of the possibilities inherent in the new linkage between Africa and China-India. This new alliance, Amin said, is “potentially in a stronger position to dismantle the international monopolies” that control international trade, and much better so than at the time of the famed Bandung Conference of 1955, when Asia and Africa came together for the first time in an attempt to challenge the current world order.

    The main part of the conference was organized in eight sessions or workshops, beginning with an overview of “The Big Picture: China and India as Emerging Giants” and passing through several aspects, such as the Chinese role in conflict development and peacekeeping, and finally reaching two sessions on historical and cultural perspectives of China-India-Africa relations.

    A full report, including most of the 28 papers presented at the conference, will later be published as a freely downloadable electronic document. This report will only attempt to highlight a small number of the papers.

    The scramble for control of energy and raw materials is a dominant factor in much of China’s and India’s approach to Africa. As professor Timothy Shaw pointed out in his presentation in Session 1:

    “China takes over 60% of Sudan’s oil exports of over 500,000 barrels per day – now 10% of China’s oil imports – and some 35% of the flow from Angola. It owns 40% of the Sudanese oil sector and one of its SOEs built a 1,600 km oil pipeline to the coast in less than 12 months. Sudan’s oil industry is located primarily in the disaffected South so is inseparable from conflict.”

    Professor Alemayehu Geda of the University of Addis Ababa, in a paper entitled ‘China and India’s Growth Surge: Is it a curse or blessing for Africa? The Case of Manufactured Exports’, discussed how China’s aggressive export strategy is displacing African products from third markets, but may still benefit from this growth. This, according to professor Geda “is possible if Africans step in to the manufacturing export space left by the Asian drivers as the latter move to higher technological ladder of manufacture exports”.

    One of the more contentious issues of China’s presence in Africa was discussed in the session on ‘Conflict Development and Peacekeeping Nexus’ on the first day of the conference. Discussing China’s role in Sudan and Darfur, Professor He Wenping of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and currently guest researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute presented a picture in line with the official Chinese viewpoint, noting that:

    “The root of the Darfur issue is poverty, and so economic development and cooperation are the solution. Through appointing a special envoy to Darfur, bridge-building between the Sudan government and the Western players as well as sending Chinese military engineers for implementing the UN 1769 resolution, China has been playing a very constructive role on the issue of Darfur.”

    Daniel Large of the Africa Asia Centre in London, UK, held a more critical viewpoint, noting that “despite the value of all such external partners, the economic dominance of China in Sudan has raised the uncomfortable spectre of dependency”.

    Citing traditional Chinese arguments that “underdevelopment, resource scarcity and environmental change” are the main causes of the Darfur conflict, Large said these were undoubtedly contributing factors to the conflict, but, he added:

    ”These cannot be taken on their own in isolation from the particular nature of political relations with the central ruling state apparatus in Khartoum in the combination of centrifugal development, political marginalization and exploitation of Sudan’s peripheries that has fuelled conflict not just in Darfur but other parts of Sudan.”
  4. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

    Jun 29, 2009
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    Africa going to be Indo-China Economic & Influence conflict point?
  5. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

    Jun 29, 2009
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    Tanzanian PM comes to India on four-day visits

    New Delhi: India and Tanzania, one of Africa's fastest-growing economies and home to around 40,000 persons of Indian origin, will intensify their cooperation in areas ranging from agriculture to UN reforms and terror during Tanzanian Prime Minister Mizengo K. Pinda's four-day visit here starting on Monday.

    Pinda, accompanied by senior ministers and officials, arrives here late Sunday night. External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will hold delegation-level talks with Pinda Tuesday on a wide range of bilateral and global issues.

    Pinda will also call on Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

    With East Africa reeling under the worst drought in a decade, the focus will be on agricultural cooperation and food security, official sources said. Northern areas of Tanzania have reported famine, but the country is relatively better off than its neighbouring country Kenya that has been hit hard.

    India is expected to provide assistance to Tanzania in the agriculture sector, specially in areas of irrigation and fertiliser, the sources said.

    India is also willing to partner Africa in its quest for better infrastructure, small and medium industries, education and health.

    Global issues like UN reforms and terrorism too will be important themes of discussion between India and Tanzania, the former chair of the 53-nation African Union.

    Pinda will also visit Ahmedabad and Vadodara, from where 40,000 Indians settled in Tanzania.

    India sees Tanzania as a "symbol of the evolving aspirations of a resurgent Africa", in the words of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who visited the East African country in 2004.

    Tanzania, home to the first commercial wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa, has shot 13 places up the World Economic Forum's global economic competitiveness list, largely due to improved security and an improving environment for the private sector.

    Tanzania's robust and steady economic performance, coupled with stability and strong institutions, have attracted considerable Indian business and investment.

    According to Tanzanian government statistics, during 1990-2006, 118 companies with "Indian interest" have invested $825 million in Tanzania.

    Reliance Industries Ltd has acquired a majority stake and management control of major oil company Gulf Africa Petroleum Corporation.

    Other major Indian companies with a presence in Tanzania include Bank of Baroda with branches in Dar es Salaam and Arusha; Air India; Tata International, which has a MoU with the National Development Corporation of Tanzania for setting up a soda ash factory at Lake Natron; and National Mineral Development Corporation.
  6. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

    Aug 13, 2009
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    africa has been at the bottom of all indicators for ages now, what with so many civil wars in so many countries. many with brutal dictators at the helm and some democratically elected(?) dictators. however that is getting corrected in many of the countries and are slowly merging with the rest of the world. india with its exports mainly focussed at US and EU had neglected africa for long inspite of the goodwill it enjoyed for decades. with US in chaos and EU coming to grips with the latest meltdown india's exports have had turbulent time. it would be wise for GOI and the ENTREPRENUERS to use the opportunity that exists in african continent. diversify trade and investments which will work as a cushion for the indian economy.
  7. ajay_ijn

    ajay_ijn Regular Member

    Jul 27, 2009
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    we do use opportunity in Africa mainly with investments in energy, minerals etc. But have small base compared to China.

    But when big state run companies invest in Africa for long term security of resources. It is often seen as exploitation.

    similar to the situation where British wanted long term supply of resources for industrial growth , consumption etc 300 to 400 yrs ago and hence entered Asia, Africa for exploitation of resources.

    similarly India would need massive resources for future to meet demand of energy and manufacturing which cannot be provided by Indias mining sector.
  8. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

    Jun 29, 2009
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    India offers to spur green revolution in drought-hit Tanzania :: Samay Live

    New Delhi: With East Africa reeling under a severe drought, India offered all possible help and assistance in spurring a green revolution in Tanzania.

    Tanzanian Prime Minister Mizengo K. Pinda, who is on a four-day visit to India, held wide-ranging discussions with the External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Tuesday, where the issue of agricultural cooperation was discussed in detail.

    Tanzania has offered to lease land to Indian private companies for a period of 99 years, as it pitched for increased investment in the agricultural sector.

    Indian companies have been looking for land in Africa, especially for cash crops like sugar cane and oilseeds, of which India faces a severe shortage. There had also been training capsules for African agricultural workers to familiarise them with best farm practices in India with similar conditions of soil and climate.

    The Tanzanian leader's India visit comes at a time when the East African region is going through its severest drought in a decade. This naturally dictated the main theme of his visit to be agricultural cooperation and food security.

    MEA spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said that Krishna had apprised the visiting leader about India's experience in green revolution in the '60s, which led to it being self-sufficient in foodgrain.

    The visiting Tanzanian delegation visited the Indian Council for Agricultural Research in Pusa on Monday.

    After the talks afternoon, the delegation left for Ahmedabad Tuesday, where it will go to the Gujarat State Fertiliser and Chemical Company, as well as visit a farmers' cooperative institute.

    Incidentally, Tanzania is home to about 40,000 people of Indian origin, most of them coming from Gujarat.

    Besides, India has assured Tanzania assistance in human resource development and capacity building. It will also gift a supercomputer to the East African state and set up a centre for IT excellence in its capital Dar es Salaam.

    Tanzania's robust and steady economic performance, coupled with stability and strong institutions, have attracted considerable Indian business and investment.

    According to Tanzanian government statistics, during 1990-2006, 118 companies with "Indian interest" have invested $825 million in Tanzania.

    Reliance Industries Ltd has acquired a majority stake and management control of major oil company Gulf Africa Petroleum Corporation.

    Other major Indian companies with a presence in Tanzania include Bank of Baroda with branches in Dar es Salaam and Arusha; Air India; Tata International, which has a MoU with the National Development Corporation of Tanzania for setting up a soda ash factory at Lake Natron; and National Mineral Development Corporation.
  9. Koji

    Koji New Member

    May 24, 2009
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    Excellent series of articles!

    While much of the information have been reported before, I found that the difference between India and China in Africa to be engagement between leaders to be quite telling! Yes, Indian businesses are making a quick buck in Africa successfully, I think China's approach to befriend African leaders, to build infrastructure, and to garauntee access to raw resources will pay off in the end.
  10. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

    Jun 8, 2009
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    Uneasy Enagagement -China's Aid to Africa

    UNEASY ENGAGEMENT-China Spreads Aid in Africa, With a Catch

    WINDHOEK, Namibia — It is not every day that global leaders set foot in this southern African nation of gravel roads, towering sand dunes and a mere two million people. So when President Hu Jintao of China touched down here in February 2007 with a 130-person delegation in tow, it clearly was not just a courtesy call.
    And in fact, China soon granted Namibia a big low-interest loan, which Namibia tapped to buy $55.3 million worth of Chinese-made cargo scanners to deter smugglers. It was a neat illustration, Chinese officials said, of how doing good in Namibia could do well for China, too.

    Or so it seemed until Namibia charged that the state-controlled company selected by China to provide the scanners — a company until recently run by President Hu’s son — had facilitated the deal with millions of dollars in illegal kickbacks. And until China threw up barriers when Namibian investigators asked for help looking into the matter.

    Now the scanners seem to illustrate something else: the aura of boosterism, secrecy and back-room deals that has clouded China’s use of billions of dollars in foreign aid to court the developing world.

    From Pakistan to Angola to Kyrgyzstan, China is using its enormous pool of foreign currency savings to cement diplomatic alliances, secure access to natural resources and drum up business for its flagship companies. Foreign aid — typically cut-rate loans, sometimes bundled with more commercial lines of credit — is central to this effort.

    Leaders of developing nations have embraced China’s sales pitch of easy credit, without Western-style demands for political or economic reform, for a host of unmet needs. The results can be clearly seen in new roads, power plants, and telecommunications networks across the African continent — more than 200 projects since 2001, many financed with preferential loans from the Chinese government’s Exim Bank.

    Increasingly, though, experts argue that China’s aid comes with a major catch: It must be used to buy goods or services from companies, many of them state-controlled, that Chinese officials select themselves. Competitive bidding by the borrowing nation is discouraged, and China pulls a veil over vital data like project costs, loan terms and repayment conditions. Even the dollar amount of loans offered as foreign aid is treated as a state secret.

    Anticorruption crusaders complain that secrecy invites corruption, and that corruption debases foreign assistance.

    “China is using this financing to buy the loyalty of the political elite,” said Harry Roque, a University of the Philippines law professor who is challenging the legality of Chinese-financed projects in the Philippines. “It is a very effective tool of soft diplomacy. But it is bad for the citizens who have to repay these loans for graft-ridden contracts.”

    In fact, such secrecy runs counter to international norms for foreign assistance. In a part of the world prone to corruption and poor governance, it also raises questions about who actually benefits from China’s projects. The answers, international development specialists say, are hidden from public view.

    “We know more about China’s military expenditures than we do about its foreign aid,” said David Shambaugh, an author and China scholar at George Washington University. “Foreign aid really is a glaring contradiction to the broader trend of China’s adherence to international norms. It is so strikingly opaque it really makes one wonder what they are trying to hide.”

    Until recently, wealthy nations could hardly hold themselves out as an example of how to run foreign aid, either. Many projects turned out to be tainted by corruption or geared to enrich the donor nation’s contractors, not the impoverished borrowers. But over the past 10 or 15 years, some 30 developed nations under the umbrella of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (O.E.C.D.) have made a concerted effort to clean up their assistance programs.

    They demanded that foreign money be awarded and spent transparently, using competitive bidding and outlawing bribery. Increasingly, they also are also pushing to give borrowers more choice among suppliers and contractors, rather than insisting that funds be recycled back to the donor nation’s companies.

    China, which is not a member of the O.E.C.D., is operating under rules that the West has largely abandoned. It mixes aid and business in secret government-to-government agreements. It requires that foreign aid contracts be awarded to Chinese contractors it picks through a closed-door bidding process in Beijing. Its attempts to prevent corrupt practices by its companies overseas appear weak.

    Some developing nations insist on independently comparing prices before accepting China’s largesse. Others do not bother. “Very often they are getting something they wouldn’t be able to get without China’s financing,” said Chris Alden, a specialist on China-African relations with the London School of Economics and Political Science. “They presume that the Chinese are going to give value for money.”

    Development experts say they have tried to convince the Chinese government that better safeguards and a more open process will enhance its efforts to gain influence and business. If its projects collapse because of kickbacks or inflated costs, they argue, China will end up exporting not only goods and services, but a reputation for corruption that it is already battling at home.
    But Deborah Brautigam, the author of a coming book on China’s economic ties with Africa titled “The Dragon’s Gift,” says Beijing is hesitant to hobble its companies with Western-style restraints before they have become world-class competitors.

    Thinking Business, Not Ethics

    “The Chinese are kind of starting out where everyone else was years ago, and they see themselves as being at a disadvantage,” Ms. Brautigam said. “The Chinese don’t particularly want a big scandal. That doesn’t further their interests. They just want their companies to get business.”

    Sometimes they get both. In 2007, the Philippines was forced to cancel a $460 million contract with the Beijing scanner company, Nuctech Company Ltd., to set up satellite-based classroom instruction after critics protested the company had no expertise in education.

    It also canceled a $329 million contract awarded to ZTE Corporation, a state-controlled Chinese communications company, after allegations of enormous kickbacks. ZTE denied bribing anyone, but the controversy has lingered. Last month an antigraft panel recommended filing criminal charges against two Philippines officials in connection with the contract.

    A Manila-based nonprofit group, the Center for International Law, has mounted a legal challenge against still another Chinese contract in the Philippines, to build a $500 million railroad. Professor Roque, who leads the center, contends that the price of China’s state-owned contractor “was simply plucked out of the sky.” Officially, China’s directive to its companies is toe an ethical line overseas.

    “Our enterprises must conform to international rules when running business, must be open and transparent, should go through a bidding process for big projects and forbid inappropriate deals and reject corruption and kickbacks,” Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister, told a group of Chinese businessmen in Zambia in 2006.

    But China has no specific law against bribing foreign officials. And the government seems none too eager to investigate or punish companies it selects if they turn out to have engaged in shady practices overseas.

    Indeed, it has an added incentive to look the other way because of the state’s ties to many foreign aid contractors — connections that sometimes extend to families of the Communist Party elite.

    In January, for example, the World Bank barred four state-controlled Chinese companies from competing for its work after an investigation showed that they tried to rig bids for bank projects in the Philippines. But two of those companies remain on the Chinese Commerce Ministry’s list of approved foreign aid contractors, according to its Web site.

    The Namibia controversy is especially delicate because until late last year, the contractor’s president was Mr. Hu’s son, Hu Haifeng. The younger Mr. Hu is now Communist Party secretary of an umbrella company that includes Nuctech and dozens of other companies. As soon as allegations against the company surfaced this summer, China’s censors swung into action, blocking all mention of the scandal in the Chinese news media and on the Internet.

    “This is a signal to everyone to back off,” said Russell Leigh Moses, an analyst of Chinese politics in Beijing. “Everyone goes into default mode, because once you get the ball rolling, no one knows where it will stop. No one wants their rice bowl broken.”

    Nuctech has denied any wrongdoing in court papers filed here in Windhoek. A spokeswoman said the company had no comment because the matter was unresolved. China’s Commerce Ministry and other government agencies did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

    Namibia’s anticorruption investigators allege that Nuctech funneled $4.2 million in kickbacks to a front company set up by a Namibian official, who split the funds with her business partner and Nuctech’s southern Africa representative, a Chinese citizen.

    A Deal Ends in Arrests

    China has promoted Nuctech as one of its global “champions.” In 10 years the company has gained customers in more than 60 countries, marketing advanced-technology scanners that help detect contraband or dangerous materials inside cargo containers. Nuctech’s spokesman says it is the only Chinese company that makes such equipment.
    The Namibian government was interested in equipping its airports, seaports and border posts with scanners to comply with stricter regulations on international commerce. On a state visit to China in 2005, Hifikepunye Pohamba, Namibia’s president, visited Nuctech’s headquarters and factory, according to court testimony. The following year, Nuctech sent a representative, Yang Fan, to Windhoek, Namibia’s capital.
    Hu Jintao’s visit to Windhoek a few months later opened up an option for finance. “China says the sky is the limit. Just say what you want,” said Carl Schlettwein, the permanent secretary of the Namibian Finance Ministry, who participated in the negotiations.

    At first, Mr. Schlettwein said, the talks stalled because Namibia was unwilling to grant China access to its substantial mineral deposits in exchange for lines of credit. Once China dropped that condition, Namibia agreed in principle to a $100 million, 20-year-loan at a 2.5 percent interest rate, then well below the market. “Purely from a financial point of view, it was a fine deal,” Mr. Schlettwein said.

    Namibian officials decided to draw on the credit line to finance most of the cost of the scanners. Mr. Schlettwein, who negotiated the scanner contract, said he wanted to seek competitive bids from scanner suppliers around the world, but Chinese negotiators refused.

    “They said ‘that is not our system,’ “ he said. “ ‘We tell you from whom you buy the equipment.’ All of us, including the minister, were very worried about the nontransparent way of doing things,” he said, but reasoned that the Chinese government “will not unduly cheat us.”

    Last March, less than a week after the Finance Ministry paid Nuctech an initial $12.8 million, Mr. Schlettwein’s unease turned to distress.

    A Windhoek bank official, following the strictures of Namibia’s new money-laundering act, called to ask why Nuctech had deposited $4.2 million in the account of a consulting company set up by Tekla Lameck, a Namibian public service commissioner.

    Mr. Schlettwein, who says that he has never met Ms. Lameck and that she had nothing to do with the scanner purchase, alerted Namibia’s anticorruption commission. In July, Ms. Lameck, her business partner and Nuctech’s representative in Windhoek were arrested on suspicion of violating Namibia’s anticorruption law. All three have denied wrongdoing.

    Investigations Galore

    Investigators charge that Nuctech agreed to hire Ms. Lameck’s consulting company, Teko Trading, in 2007, a month after President Hu’s visit. Nuctech agreed to pay Teko 10 percent of the contract if the average price of one scanner was $2.5 million. If the price was higher, Nuctech would pay Teko 50 percent of the added cost. A subsequent agreement fixed the amount of commissions at $12.8 million, according to court records.

    At his bail hearing last month, Yang Fan, Nuctech’s representative, said his company hired Teko because “Teko explained how to do business here in Namibia.” He did not elaborate. But in 2007, another Namibian official complained to the anticorruption commission that Ms. Lameck had introduced herself to the Chinese Embassy in Windhoek as a representative of Swapo, Namibia’s governing political party. She claimed that no business could be done in Namibia without Swapo’s involvement, the complainant said.

    Investigators have been seeking Nuctech’s explanation of the affair for more than two months. There is little sign the company has complied with their requests, although investigators say they remain hopeful.

    Namibia’s chief national prosecutor, Martha Imalwa, traveled to Beijing in July, hoping to question officials from Nuctech and another company involved in a separate inquiry. But according to her deputy, Danie Small, Ms. Imalwa was allowed to present questions only to the international division of China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

    A court has temporarily frozen $12.8 million in Nuctech’s assets while the inquiry continues. Meanwhile, at Namibia’s Finance Ministry, Mr. Schlettwein is belatedly trying to determine what other buyers paid for comparable scanners. When he asked South African officials for pricing information, he said, he was told Nuctech’s contract there is also under investigation.

    Perhaps predictably, competitors say Namibia agreed to pay far too much. Peter Kant, a vice-president at Nuctech’s American rival, Rapiscan Systems, said that comparable equipment and services costs about $28 million, or $25 million less than Nuctech’s contract.

    Mr. Schlettwein last month tried to send a letter through official channels to Rong Yonglin, Nuctech’s chairman, to ask that the contract be renegotiated. But a Chinese Embassy official in Windhoek refused to accept the correspondence, saying he knew no one with that name.
  11. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

    Jun 29, 2009
    Likes Received:
    13° 4'60.00"N 80°16'60.00"E
    India-Nigeria bilateral trade scales new heights


    Abuja, Oct 12 (PTI) Bilateral trade between India and Nigeria has touched new heights, crossing USD 10 billion mark for the first time, according to the official statistics.

    Bilateral trade between the countries grew by 17 per cent in the last year to reach USD 10.22 billion, securing India's position as second largest trading partner of Nigeria.

    However, Nigeria remains first in Africa for India, Mahesh Sachdev, Indian high commissioner to the country stated in weekly newsletter, India Page.

    Despite decline in oil prices, global economic meltdown and India's ban on rice exports, the growth in Nigeria-India trade accelerated from 9.8 per cent to 17.5 per cent over past two years, he noted.

    Imports from Nigeria to India increased by 14.1 per cent to USD 8.70 billion, while Indian exports to Nigeria shot up by 41 per cent to USD 1.
  12. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Feb 23, 2009
    Likes Received:
    India grants Congo $263 mln in infrastructure loans

    Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:09pm IST

    By Joe Bavier

    KINSHASA (Reuters) - India has offered Democratic Republic of Congo $263 million in loans to build hydroelectric plants and repair battered infrastructure in the war-ravaged central African nation, Congo's foreign minister said on Friday.

    The two countries agreed the final terms of the loan package this week during a four-day visit by Foreign Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba to the south Asian economic powerhouse.

    "The Indian government has made available $168 million for the Katende dam project in Kasai Orientale (province), $45 million for the Kakobola dam, and $50 million to rehabilitate the rail system in (the capital) Kinshasa," he said.

    Congo is increasingly looking to forge new partnerships to help finance ambitious plans to rebuild and expand infrastructure, most of which was destroyed during decades of kleptocratic dictatorship and a devastating 1998-2003 war.

    Officials in Kinshasa announced last month that they had secured $25 million in loans from India to improve water and sanitation facilities and build a new IT training centre.

    The announcement of the new Indian loan package follows a $6 billion infrastructure for minerals deal signed with China.

    The Chinese deal is a cornerstone of President Joseph Kabila's post-war economic policy to help rebuild mineral-rich but cash-strapped Congo.

    However, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and traditional partners had feared the contract, which uses mineral reserves as a guarantee for infrastructure projects, could plunge Congo deeper into debt. And the IMF had delayed forgiveness of most of the $10 billion Congo owes pending a revision of the deal.

    Last month, Congo and China agreed to amend the contract, reducing the total value from an original plan of $9 billion, and Paris Club lenders are due to meet soon to discuss Congo's request for debt cancellation.

    Thambwe Mwamba told Reuters by telephone from India that Congo did not expect resistance from western lenders over the new credit line.

    "These are loans that we need and that were accepted by the World Bank and the IMF," he said.

    (Reporting by Joe Bavier; Editing by Richard Valdmanis/Victoria Main)

    India grants Congo $263 mln in infrastructure loans | Top News | Reuters
  13. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Feb 23, 2009
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    China pledges $10bn Africa loans

    China has cultivated strong economic
    ties with Africa

    10:38 GMT, Sunday, 8 November 2009

    China has pledged to give Africa $10bn (£6bn) in concessional loans over the next three years, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said at a summit in Egypt.

    The Chinese leader is attending a two-day forum on China-Africa cooperation in Sharm el-Sheikh, attended by officials from 50 nations.

    "We will help Africa build up financing capacity," Mr Wen told the summit.

    Several heads of state and government are attending the meeting, including the Presidents of Sudan and Zimbabwe.

    Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak inaugurated the forum, the fourth of its kind, and spoke of "peace, security and growth," and of "boosting cooperation between China and Africa."

    Mr Wen also said China is planning to create environmental programmes for Africa, including 100 clean energy projects.

    The West has previously accused China of plundering Africa's natural resources - to fuel its booming economy - and of overlooking the human rights records of some governments they do business with.

    In the run up to the summit, China's state owned Global Times newspaper wrote "The West is envious of China and Africa drawing closer," and quoted one Chinese Africa expert as saying "Europeans view Africa as their own backyard."

    China pledged $5bn (£3bn) of assistance at the last cooperation summit in Beijing in 2006, and signed agreements to relieve or cancel the debt of more than 30 African countries.

    BBC NEWS | Africa | China pledges $10bn Africa loans


    Wow! Not bad ! Infact, Impressive!
  14. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

    Aug 13, 2009
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    India extends $50 mn credit to Malawi

    The Hindu : Business News : India extends $50 mn credit to Malawi
  15. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

    Aug 13, 2009
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    ‘Indian investment in Zambia should aim at value addition’

    Anita Joshua, LUSAKA, January 8, 2010

    At a time when India is trying to reclaim its sphere of influence in Africa, Zambia’s First President Kenneth Kaunda on Thursday said Indian investment in his country should be aimed at value addition. Welcoming Indian investments in Zambia, the founding father of this Southern African nation said investors from India should work in partnership with Zambian entrepreneurs to engage in value addition by processing the raw materials locally.

    Mr. Kaunda drew the broad parameters for the Indian engagement in Zambia when Vice-President Hamid Ansari called on him at his Kabulonga office here. This assertion by Mr. Kaunda comes at a time when he is under attack for dabbling in the country’s politics and trying to influence policy.


    Meeting Mr. Ansari in the middle of a raging controversy over his criticism of a former Defence Minister, Mr. Kaunda side-stepped attempts by the local media to get him to speak on the issue after the Vice-Presidents entourage left the premises. He has been accused of being a “tension-building catalyst” and a “divisive failure” instead of emulating the likes of late Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Nelson Mandela of South Africa who “remained stabilizing factors in their countries post-retirement.”

    Belying his 85 years but for the hint of a stoop and a shuffle in his gait, Mr. Kaunda remains a presence in Zambia 18 years after he signed out of active politics though people no longer chant ‘God in heaven; on earth, Kaunda. Still, he is referred to as the First President and his office has been institutionalised as the ‘Office of the First President.’

    A familiar figure in India along with the African pantheon of Nyerere, Mr. Mandela and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Mr. Kaunda is heralded not just for leading Zambia to independence but also uniting the country’s 73 tribes under the slogan on ‘One Zambia, One Nation.’

    Hence, there is considerable disquiet among commoners over the controversy with his critics also feeling that Mr. Kaunda should be left alone in his “sunset years; however wrong he may be. “Spare him and he is our most cherished asset left” are oft-heard refrains whenever the issue is discussed while the more critical feel he should just confine himself to work on the HIV/AIDS front. This was another issue that came up during his meeting with Mr. Ansari.

    Seeks India’s help

    Stating that Southern Africa was bearing the heaviest brunt of the AIDS pandemic, he appealed for Indian assistance in fighting the disease that claimed one of his sons. But for this appeal and the contours for Indian investment, Mr. Kaunda chose to walk down nostalgia lane with Mr. Ansari as both recalled the common spiritual father the two nations had in Mahatma Gandhi.

    The Hindu : News / International : ‘Indian investment in Zambia should aim at value addition’
  16. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

    Aug 13, 2009
    Likes Received:
  17. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

    Aug 13, 2009
    Likes Received:
    India set for heavy investments in Nigeria's energy sector

    27 January 2010


    India has expressed its desire to be part of an expanded programme of the Nigerian government to develop its energy sector and will invest atleast $360 million in developing two oil blocks in this West African nation. This investment would be separate from those it is prepared to make in the oil refining sector.

    ''India will invest $350 million in developing two oil blocks in the West African nation, besides increasing its engagement in the gas sector as well,'' petroleum and natural gas minister, Murli Deora, said after meeting his Nigerian counterpart Henry Odein Ajumogobia at Abuja on Monday.

    ''India is looking forward to partnering Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through the Indian oil and gas conglomerate - ONGC Mittal Energy Ltd. - for the establishment of a greenfield petroleum refining plant,'' Deora said.

    The two oil blocks in question are Nigerian Oil Prospecting Licences (OPLs) 279 and 285. Drilling operations have begun in one of these oil prospects.

    According to Deora, India buys at least 400,000 barrels of oil per day from Nigeria, the annual value of which he estimated to be at $10 billion.

    Deora said India was ready to partner with the NNPC in the establishment of a greenfield refinery with the aim of boosting the domestic production of petroleum products in the country.

    ''We will be importing about 40 million barrels, most of which are on spot basis from Nigeria. We have a refinery of about 180 million tons and about 25 per cent of Indian import is from Nigeria alone. At the current value, it will be worth $10 billion from Nigeria alone".

    "We will like to have more Nigerian crude on terms contract basis. Some Indian companies are already playing in Nigeria's upstream sector. We will like to consider opportunities in Nigeria's upstream sector. India has the capacity to work with Nigeria in the midstream and downstream sectors," he said.

    Talking about the ongoing reforms in Nigeria's oil industry, Deora said India was keen to learn about the nation's strategies and see how it could partner in the proposed transformation.

    RS Sarma, managing director of the state-owned Indian oil and gas giant, The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC), said his company has been working with the NNPC in the formulation and implementation of the gas master plan.

    He also said his firm has proposed to partner with NNPC in the development of a greenfield refinery that could help bring some relief to the crisis of petroleum product supply in the country's downstream sector.

    "We have several companies from India that have come here. In the last several years, we have been talking with NNPC about a new greenfield refinery in Port Harcourt. Feasibility studies have been completed," he said.

    The Gas Authority of India Ltd, (GAIL) was interested in setting up petrochemical plants, LPG plants and LPG transportation pipelines. Along with its consortium members, GAIL has been shortlisted as one of the 15 companies qualified to participate in Nigeria's ambitious $30 billion National Gas Master Development Plan.

    Similarly, Indian Oil Corporation has offered to assist in refinery up-gradation, improving refinery operations by imparting training to technical personnel and providing consultancy, besides setting up LNG liquefaction plants.

    The minister of state for petroleum resources, Odein Ajumogobia, who stood in for the minister of petroleum resources, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, at the meeting, said Nigeria is eager to partner with any country that shares a common vision with it on the need to transform the oil and gas industry in such a way that it serve the greater need of the people.

    "Nigeria hopes to further strengthen existing bilateral relations, especially with countries that such as India that buys our crude oil. However, we believe we can achieve more through greater cooperation in terms of technical assistance in the exploration of hydrocarbon.

    "The country is determined to transform its oil and gas sectors to a path of sustainable growth and is therefore ready to partner with any country or organisation that share a common aspiration in that regard," he said.
  18. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Thank u as this is the most thorough summary of China (and India)'s activities in Africa. Indians seem to have far more knowledge about Africa and set footholds far earlier there than Chinese.

    Just to add a few sidenotes -

    1) India and China to jointly bid for oil and gas stakes to avoid bidding wars
    08-08-05 India and China have agreed to cooperate and jointly acquire oil and gas reserves all over the world.
    This will keep the prices of these properties under control. Otherwise the bidding war between China and India will just make both the countries broke.

    Additional Secretary (International Cooperation) in Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Talmiz Ahmad will lead a high level delegation on a five-day visit to China to explore opportunities for cooperation in their pursuit of securing energy security.
    "I am going to China to explore possibilities of cooperation. We are looking at identifying specific areas of cooperation," he told.

    India wants to bid jointly with China for acquiring oil and gas properties in third countries particularly in the Caspian region, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America. He said the oil strategies of both India and China were similar -- both have similar concerns of energy security, both are acquiring energy assets abroad even as they have substantive exploration programmes at home and both are engaged in transnational pipeline construction.
    "We see in this similarity of approach, the possibilities of bilateral cooperation," he said.

    India would explore joint bidding with China for oil and gas properties in Russia, the Caspian Sea region, Central Asia, Africa, particularly West Africa, and Latin America.
    "We have competed for oil blocks in these areas." Cooperation in exploration and production of oil and gas in their respective countries and related downstream activities like refining and natural gas would also be explored, he said.

    2) China's friendship with Africa has been forged during their fight for independence and against apartheid. During 1950-70's driven by a ideological frenzy, China offered huge military support and beyond, for African 'Liberation' cause.

    3) There's a huge African community in Guangzhou City, of 100-200 thousand Africans. in 2009 a riot even took place of angry Africans opposing to tight visa control and expatriation of illegal African immigrants.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  19. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

    Oct 5, 2009
    Likes Received:
    India, S Africa ink 3 pacts, discuss bid for UNSC seat

    India, S Africa ink 3 pacts, discuss bid for UNSC seat

    India and South Africa on Friday inked three pacts, including one on air services, as the leaders of the two countries discussed ways to provide fresh impetus to bilateral ties and agreed to extend support to each other for the UNSC non-permanent seat for 2011-2012 term.

    On his maiden visit to any Asian country as President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma held delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during which they discussed bilateral as well as global issues including reforms in the U.N. Security Council.

    Besides the UNSC non-permanent seat for the 2011-2012 term, both countries are also in race for permanent berth in the global body.

    “We will step up our efforts for reform of global institutions of governance, including of the United Nations Security Council. We have agreed to support each other’s candidatures for the non-permanent seat for the 2011-2012 term,” Mr. Singh said after his meeting with Mr. Zuma.

    He said the leaders have decided to impart a forward-looking character to these ties and agreed to focus on the expansion of economic, trade and investment relationship.

    Mr. Singh said, “The links between India and South Africa are rooted in history. We can never forget that South Africa was the land of the awakening of the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, for which we owe a deep debt of gratitude to its people.”

    Terming their ties as “historic and unique”, Mr. Zuma described his visit as “more than (a) success” and said it “resolved all issues which needed to be resolved by two friendly countries.”

    Besides ‘Air Services’ agreement under which the two countries have added three stops for all flights including Johannesburg and Durban in South Africa and Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram in India, the two countries also signed MoU on cooperation in agriculture and mutual cooperation in foreign and diplomatic services.

    The Air Services pact will also enable the two countries to enhance their ties in flight security area and increase number of flights from both sides.

    The MoU on cooperation between the Foreign Services Institute of India and the Diplomatic Academy of South Africa will provide for training of the officers.
  20. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Feb 23, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I thought this was interesting.

    Destination Africa for India, Japan


    Read more: Destination Africa for India, Japan - Hindustan Times
  21. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

    Sep 5, 2009
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    India To Give $500 Mln Credit To Mozambique, Double Trade To $1 Bln

    NEW DELHI, SEP 30 (TickerNews Service): India will provide $500 million line of credit to Mozambique to boost exports and plans to double bilateral trade to $1 billion by 2013, Trade Minister Anand Sharma said Thursday.
    India-Mozambique trade which was $426 million in 2009 needed to be stepped up to realise the potential that existed between the two countries, he said at India-Mozambique business partnership meet, which was attended by visiting Mozambique President Armando Emillo Guebuza.
    Sharma said India was also willing to help Mozambique in skill development and cooperate in areas of infrastructure, mining and railways.
    Mozambique, which is rich in oil and several minerals including coal, offered great opportunity for Indian investment, Guebuza said.
    Leading Indian companies such as Tatas, Videocon, Bharat Petroleum and IRCON are already operating in Mozambique.

    India to give $500 mln credit to Mozambique, double trade to $1 bln - Sulekha Money

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