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4 May 2024 : PIB Summary for UPSC

1. 2nd Session of India-Nigeria Joint Trade Committee held in Abuja

Topic: GS2 – International Relations – Bilateral Relations
Context:
●   A delegation from India, held a Joint Trade Committee meeting with Nigerian counterparts in Abuja.

●  Discussions aimed to review bilateral trade and investment ties, identify areas for cooperation, and address impediments to trade.

●  India and Nigeria seek to strengthen economic relations amid declining bilateral trade in recent years.

 Analysis of the news:

  • A seven-member Indian delegation led by Shri Amardeep Singh Bhatia, Additional Secretary of the Department of Commerce, held a Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting with Nigerian counterparts in Abuja.
  • Discussions reviewed recent developments in bilateral trade and investment, acknowledging untapped potential for further expansion.
  • Identified areas for enhancing trade and investment cooperation, including resolving market access issues, cooperation in sectors like crude oil, pharmaceuticals, UPI, power, agriculture, education, and MSMEs.
  • Emphasised the early conclusion of the Local Currency Settlement System Agreement to strengthen economic ties.
  • Nigeria is 2nd largest trading partner of India in Africa region
  • India-Nigeria bilateral trade valued at USD 11.8 billion in 2022-23, with declining trend at USD 7.89 billion in 2023-24.
India – West African Countries Relations
Importance for India:

 Economic Opportunities:

●  West Africa offers vast economic potential with its abundant natural resources.

●  Bilateral trade has been growing in recent times, particularly in sectors like agriculture, energy, and technology.

●  India seeks to diversify its trade partners and reduce dependence on traditional markets, making West Africa a strategic choice.

Strategic Significance:

Geopolitical importance due to its location on key maritime routes.

Collaboration in maritime security crucial for combating piracy and ensuring safe passage of trade.

●  West African nations are key partners in India’s Indo-Pacific vision, promoting stability and prosperity in the region.

Development Cooperation:

●  India’s development assistance focuses on capacity-building, infrastructure, and human resource development.

●  Collaboration in healthcare, education, and agriculture enhances socio-economic development in the region.

● India’s lines of credit and grants support infrastructure projects, fostering mutual growth and prosperity.

Multilateral Engagement:

Collaboration in multilateral forums like the United Nations strengthens diplomatic ties.

● India supports West African countries’ aspirations for representation and reforms in global institutions.

● Joint efforts in addressing global challenges such as climate change, terrorism, and pandemics demonstrate mutual cooperation and solidarity.

PYQ:

Q.1 How does India see its place in the economic space of rising natural resource rich Africa? (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-1 2014)

Q.2 “If the last few decades were of Asia’s growth story, the next few are expected to be of Africa’s.” In the light of this statement, examine India’s influence in Africa in recent years. (150 words/ 10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2021)

Q.3 Increasing interest of India in Africa has its pros and cons. Critically examine. (200 words/12.5m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2015)

Practice Question:  Discuss the significance of India’s relations with West African countries in the context of its economic, strategic, and cultural interests. Examine the opportunities and challenges in fostering closer ties, and suggest measures to enhance cooperation for mutual benefit. (150 Words /10 marks)

2. 7th India-Indonesia Joint Defence Cooperation Committee meeting held in New Delhi

Topic: GS2 – International Relations – Bilateral Relations
Context:
●  India and Indonesia reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening defence ties during the seventh India-Indonesia Joint Defence Cooperation Committee meeting in New Delhi.

● Discussions focused on enhancing collaboration in the defense industry, maritime security, and multilateral cooperation.

 Analysis of the news:

  • India and Indonesia held the seventh India-Indonesia Joint Defence Cooperation Committee meeting in New Delhi.
  • Chaired by Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane and Secretary-General of Indonesia’s Ministry of Defence Air Marshal Donny Ermawan Taufanto.
  • Both sides agreed to enhance collaboration in defence industry, maritime security, and multilateral cooperation.
  • They expressed satisfaction at the expanding scope of defence cooperation between the two countries.
  • Progress on various bilateral initiatives discussed in working groups on defence cooperation and defence industries cooperation was reviewed.
  • Air Marshal Taufanto visited DRDO headquarters, TATA Advanced Systems, and Larsen & Toubro defence facilities in Pune.
  • He also met with Indian defence industry partners like Bharat Forge, Mahindra Defence, and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited to discuss cooperation in research and joint production.
  • The visit aimed to strengthen defence ties and enhance defence industrial capabilities through collaboration and exchanges.
India – Indonesia Relations
India – Indonesia Complementary Relations:

Strategic Location: Both countries are strategically located in the Indo-Pacific region, enhancing regional stability and security.

●  Economic Cooperation: Bilateral trade and investment relations are robust, with potential for further growth, particularly in sectors like energy, infrastructure, and agriculture.

Cultural Ties: Historical and cultural connections, including shared traditions and heritage, foster strong people-to-people relations.

Maritime Collaboration: Cooperation in maritime security and navigation promotes safety and stability in the Indian Ocean and beyond.

Strategic Partnerships: Engagement in regional forums like ASEAN strengthens diplomatic ties and regional cooperation.

Defence Cooperation: Collaboration in defence and security initiatives enhances mutual capabilities and addresses common security challenges.

Development Assistance: India provides development assistance to Indonesia, supporting infrastructure projects and capacity-building initiatives.

Challenges:

●  Trade Barriers: Tariffs and non-tariff barriers hinder smooth trade relations.

●  Infrastructure Gaps: Lack of robust infrastructure affects connectivity and trade facilitation.

●  Security Concerns: Maritime disputes and security challenges in the region pose risks.

Way Forward:

●  Enhanced Trade Relations: Address trade barriers through negotiations and agreements.

Infrastructure Development: Invest in infrastructure projects to improve connectivity.

Security Cooperation: Strengthen maritime security cooperation to address common challenges.

Cultural Exchanges: Promote cultural exchanges and people-to-people ties to deepen understanding.

Diplomatic Engagement: Continue diplomatic dialogue and collaboration in regional forums to foster mutual interests.

PYQ: Explain the formation of thousands of islands in Indonesian and Philippines archipelagos. (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-1 2014)
Practice Question:  Discuss the recent developments in India-Indonesia defence cooperation and their significance in strengthening bilateral ties. How can enhanced collaboration in the defence industry and maritime security contribute to regional stability and multilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region? (250 Words /15 marks)

 

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