By Aparajita Gupta, New Delhi, March 11 IANS | 9 months ago

The Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM) is planning to set up a project development company with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to encourage public-private partnership (PPP) projects in Africa, Yaduvendra Mathur, chairman and managing director of the export finance institution, said here.

"We have been working very closely with AfDB and our team has just come back from Tunisia to explore possibilities of setting up a project development company with AfDB. This company will be targeted at bankable projects in Africa.

"We are into getting projects developed for Africa so that Indian companies can participate. AfDB is in dialogue with us and we have been pushing them for the last one year and hopefully this will happen quickly. This is basically for PPP projects. This project development company is to encourage public-private-partnership in Africa," Mathur told IANS in an interview.

Mathur was here to attend the three-day long 10th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership.

Till date the bank has in place 136 Lines of Credit (LOCs) with credit commitments of around $6.5 billion for financing exports from India to cover around 48 countries in Africa. These LOCs are earmarked for developmental projects like railway rehabilitation, setting up of textile, cement, tractor assembly, agro and food processing, rural electrification and transmission and irrigation.

Overall the EXIM Bank has lent 187 Lines of Credit totalling about $12 billion across the world, he said.

Bilateral trade between India and Africa has shot up from $25 billion in 2006-07 to around $70 billion in 2012-13. However, the Indian government has targeted it to touch $200 billion by 2020.

"African continent is one of most important partners for the country and 11 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa. We are looking at infrastructure development in Africa, the big project exports. We are encouraging entire private sector in India to get into these sectors," Mathur said.

"We have a big advisory service. If any company evinces interest to invest in that country, we provide them with advice. We do a lot of handholding of Indian companies who are going there."

Talking about lending for various projects in the continent, Mathur said, "Buyers' credit under the National Insurance Export Account that was launched by the Indian government in 2011 has already fetched project proposals of nearly $5 billion.

"Forty five project proposals are in the pipeline. Four projects have already started under this new scheme. Through this scheme the foreign company will get loan from us," Mathur said.

He mentioned that the EXIM Bank is working with a number of African regional banks and institutions to facilitate credit available for projects. The financial institutions with which it is working are Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), Western African Development Bank, AfrEXIM Bank and African Development Bank.

(Aparajita Gupta can be contacted at aparajita.g@ians.in)

(Posted on 11-03-2014)

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