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India to host African summit next year if Ebola outbreak ends

IANS  |  New Delhi 

will host the India-Forum Summit sometime next year provided the menace of Ebola virus is completely eliminated much before the summit is scheduled, the government indicated here Thursday.

Addressing a conference on "Africa: A Land of Opportunities", Vinay Kumar, joint secretary (East and South Africa) in the external affairs ministry, said that the summit could be hosted provided the Ebola virus, which has claimed around 6,000 lives in western Africa, is contained.

The summit, first organised in New Delhi in 2008 and subsequently a second time in 2011, succeeded a great deal in intensifying, diversifying and multiplying and African continent trade and economic relations and deepened their partnership, he said, according to a statement.

The two-day conference is being held under the joint patronage of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the ministry.

Vinay Kumar said the India-Forum Summit led to rapid enhancement of India's investments in the entire African continent as also led to substantial acceleration in their two-way trade.

On account of the two summits held in New Delhi, the target of two-way trade earlier set at $75 billion for and African continent by 2015 was going to be surpassed as India expected that by the end of current fiscal, trade could exceed $90 billion, he said.

The ambassadors and high commissioners gathered for the conference were from African countries such as Algeria, Guinea, Kenya, Rwanda, Tunisia and Egypt.

They asked India to concentrate on releasing its investments in the entire continent in its infrastructure sector rather than concentrating on areas of oil, gas and fertilizers as India has been importing these commodities at a substantial level from the African continent, the statement said.

First Published: Thu, December 04 2014. 23:00 IST