Bragina Elena
India Africa: Trade and Investments in the 21st Century
Publication Type:

DOI 10.23932/2542-0240-2018-11-5-182-199

The article discusses commercial relations and investment flows between India and the countries of Africa against the backdrop of globalization in the 21st century. The scale and substance of their economic interaction, determined by the level of development of their domestic economies and the specifics of external demand for the goods produced, significantly differ. African countries continue to require an inflow of foreign investments, especially given the substantial lag the majority of such countries still demonstrates in the development of their own research and development sector. In Africa’s intercontinental contacts, a high degree of involvement is shown by India, whose government adopted the 2002 “Focus Africa” program aimed at promoting consistent development of economic contacts with the continent’s countries. A considerable share of the shadow sector in their GDPs remains an essential negative feature of economic structures of the African countries and India. It not only complicates adequate assessment of the economic processes ongoing in those countries, but also has an adverse effect on the efficiency of their state institutes. One can observe the emergence of the middle class (although uneven by scale) and, as a result, of new types of consumption and demand, and their proliferation. This is making their domestic markets increase and diversify, which, in turn heightens foreign exporters’ and investors’ interest in accessing such markets. Especially important here is India’s economic policy on the relations with the countries of Africa, including its use of “soft power” for further expansion of its position. The article focuses on the main forms of economic relations of India and African countries, the growing activity of large businesses, and high level annual economic summits. African countries’ exports to India retain a high share of raw materials, and, primarily, agricultural produce and hydrocarbons. The share of African oil in India’s total imports in 2016 amounted to 15%. While the leading countries of the West continue their traditional presence in the African and South Asian markets, China, as an exporter and investor, is gaining in economic influence. The role of Japanese and South Korean capitals in the competition for African markets is also on the rise. In February 2018, African countries agreed to create a common market. This prospect will significantly intensify competition for economic positions in trade and investments with the countries of the African continent.

Keywords: globalization | India | Africa | shadow economy | middle class | purchasing power | summits India-Africa | soft power | trade | commodity structure | oil | investments | African common market |


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