New Delhi, June 9 (PTI) India has expressed interest in negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with Africa with the aim of boosting economic ties between the two regions.

This was stated by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal during his meeting with fifteen ambassadors from various countries of the African region here on Thursday.

"India is open to negotiating free trade agreements bilaterally or individually with African countries or with Africa as a whole," he said.

India would act as a reliable partner to expand trade, commerce, business, investment and opportunities with Africa, he added. In this type of agreement, two or more trading partners significantly reduce or eliminate customs duties on the largest number of goods traded between them. In addition, rules are relaxed to promote trade in services and attract investment.

The 15 ambassadors represent countries such as Algeria, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Republic of Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The African continent presents vast opportunities for Indian companies, with its growing population, emerging middle class and abundant natural resources.

Through increased trade and investment, both regions can benefit from each other's strengths and experience, fostering inclusive growth and job creation.

Bilateral trade between the regions exceeded 90 billion dollars.

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Source: Microsoft start