Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday termed the economic slowdown as a "temporary effect" due to global factors and stressed that India will achieve its target of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024-25. Addressing a national conference on 'India-Africa partnership in a changing global order' organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs, Naidu said India's rise as a significant economic and global player and Africa's rapid economic growth and its desire to take charge of its own destiny are factors that are shaping their contemporary relationship.
He said India aspires to be a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024-25 as outlined in the economic survey-2019. Referring to the slowdown in the economy, Naidu said, "Friends, let me assure that Indian economic fundamentals are strong. They are stable because of the series of reforms we have taken and also (due to) the recession worldwide, there is some temporary effect."
"But don't worry, India is on the move, it will move faster in the coming days and will achieve its target," he added. Naidu said Africa's 'Agenda 2063' for its overall development is in line with India's broad guiding principles of engagement with the continent.
"Therefore, our interactions with Africa in recent years have acquired vibrancy and dynamism," he said. Talking about the overall strengthening of relations between India and Africa, the vice-president said there has been "unprecedented intensification" of political engagement with 32 high-level visits from India to African countries apart from several ministerial visits.
At the same time, India has hosted over 36 leaders from Africa since the third India-Africa Forum Summit held in 2015 and has opened six additional missions in the region to increase its diplomatic outreach in Africa, he said. Naidu further said Africa has become an important trade and investment partner for India.
"Our bilateral trade stood at USD 62.66 billion in 2017-2018 and cumulative investments in Africa amounting to USD 54 billion, making India the fourth-largest investor in Africa. However, there remains great uncharted potential to be explored," he said. Without taking any names, the vice-president said that India wanted good relations with countries in all regions as well as its neighbours "including with the troubling neighbours provided they don't interfere in our internal relations." PTI JTR RHL
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