India is working with Africa on an economic expansion plan to enable a free trade agreement between the country and the region. The trade agreement would involve a trade relationship without bullion between Africa and the country, much like the AfCFTA. To date, 30 of the 54 African countries have ratified the Rahul Chhabra Agreement, Secretary (Economic Relations) at the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has called the pact a back-and-forth. Negotiations are ongoing and the agreement will be fully announced in a few months. One of the biggest challenges facing India is China`s engagement with Africa. According to the China-Africa Research Initiative, bilateral trade between China and Africa amounted to $185 billion in 2018, while Chinese investment amounted to $5.4 billion. Bilateral trade with Africa has continued to grow. From $5 billion in 2001, it totaled $69 billion and grew at an annual rate of 12%. India has proposed to Africa that the two sides work to conclude a free trade agreement (CETA) or preferential trade agreement (EPZ) to strengthen and strengthen economic relations in a new world trade order. India can benefit from the African continental trade pact: MEA Prabhu said that India and Africa must cooperate to take advantage of the benefits of the new world trade order. He also said that the two countries must become economically independent and work for economic freedom.
Economic freedom can be achieved through industrialization and job creation, he said. Speaking in a webinar of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) attended by members of the Indian and African diplomatic corps, Chhabra said the agreement was aimed at “making Africa resistant to Indian affairs and keeping up with the resilience of Indian affairs for Africa.” In the past, India has shown a strong interest in the African economy through several agreements. In 2009, India launched the Pan African e-network Project (PAeNP), designed by former Indian President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The project was launched in 2009 and was successfully completed on September 30, 2017. The network provided education and health services through telecommunications (MPLS/IPLC/satellite) in 48 African Union member states. India`s bilateral trade relations with Africa are estimated at $69 billion in recent times and will develop over time as the free trade agreement is concluded.