[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he trade between India and Africa’s one of the model democracies-Senegal, totaled over $700 million in the 2014-15 financial year, as per the Indian diplomat.
R Narayanan, second secretary of the Indian embassy in Dakar, told IANS in an email exchange from Senegal’s capital that, “Trade between the countries has been growing at over 25 percent annually. India’s exports to Senegal were valued at $518.72 millionin the financial year 2014-15 and India’s imports were $208.13 million.”
India mainly exported rice, textiles, food items, automobiles and pharmaceuticals to Senegal, and imported phosphoric acid, phosphate ore and raw cashew. Embassy sources said an important initiative was taken in 1988 for The initiative for counter-trade arrangements with Senegal were taken way back in 1988, but the results were not very encouraging.
There are about 300 Indians in Senegal working with Indian companies, including those executing development projects under lines of credit extended by India under bilateral and multilateral schemes. The rest run their own businesses.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]”B[/dropcap]ilateral trade volume has the potential to grow in the near future given the convergence of interests in terms of Senegal’s growing economy, its need for investment in crucial infrastructure sectors and the Indian companies’ endeavour to explore new markets and share their expertise in various fields with new partners,” Narayanan said.
The mission is making consistent efforts to help Indian businesses increase their presence in Senegal and utilise it as a gateway to the rest of West Africa, he said.
Narayanan said that during the last three years, India has extended project assistance worth $300 million for rural electrification and fishery development projects, establishment of a slaughter house with modern facilities, a tannery and livestock market, a project for self-sufficiency in rice and the acquisition of buses.
India has also extended various scholarships to the Senegalese, with 35 slots allocated under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme (ITEC) three years ago.
Apart from this, two slots under the General Cultural Scholarship Scheme (GCSS) and nine slots under the Africa Scholarship Scheme are also made available annually for Senegal. For the current financial year, five slots for training in courses conducted by the Indian Navy and three in the courses conducted by the Indian Air Force have been allotted to Senegal.