India turning key manufacturing hub, says PM: Hails India-Africa ties

‘Make in India’ brand is soon becoming India’s identity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said here and maintained that as India is emerging a global  manufacturing and start-up hub, days are not off when smartphone users in  Africa will buy India-made products.

Addressing the Indian diaspora in the Ugandan capital on Tuesday night, Mr Modi said, many of the ‘Made-in-India’ products, including cars and smart phones, are these days exported to nations from whom the country used to import.

Prime Minister said, rail tracks, metro train coaches and satellites are also being manufactured in India itself by using Indian steel.

He also noted that Korean major Samsung recently opened the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturing plant in Noida. He pointed out 11,000 start ups have been registered in India in the last four years, making the country a hub of start-ups.

Referring to India’s ties with Uganda and other African nations, he said the bond between India and countries like Uganda is a relationship of struggle for freedom and of hard work.

Prime Minister said the resource-rich continent is now in the centre of India’s foreign policy.

The government of India will open 18 new embassies, taking the total number of the country’s missions in Africa to 47.

He further said the trade between India and Africa has witnessed a 32 per cent increase.

Prime Minister said his government is committed to grant scholarship to 50,000 African students to the tune of 600 million dollars and lines of credit for projects worth 3 billion dollars have been also sanctioned.

On India-initiated International Solar Alliance, Mr Modi said it is a matter of satisfaction that most African countries have joined the Alliance and out of total number of members, over 50 per cent are from Africa.

Mr Modi also recalled his trip to Uganda as Gujarat chief minister in 2007.

Prime Minister Modi and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni unveiled a bust of India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at the Indian community event.

In a tweet, MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said, “Ugandan President Museveni was effusive in his  praise for the Indian community in Uganda. In his address at the community reception, he praised them for their hard work and contribution in the economic development of Uganda”.

Late, Mr Modi wrote in a Twitter message that: “The community programme in Kampala was full of vibrancy and enthusiasm. Spoke about the deep rooted ties between India and Uganda, the accomplishments of the Indian diaspora and the transformative changes taking place in India.

On his arrival here on Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi held delegation level talks with Ugandan President.

India and Uganda also signed four MoUs in the areas of defence cooperation, visa exemption for official and diplomatic passport holders, cultural exchange programme and material testing laboratory.

Prime Minister also announced two Lines of Credit worth nearly 200 million US dollars to Uganda in energy, infrastructure, agriculture and dairy sectors.

Mr Modi will also on Wednesday become first ever Indian Prime Minister to deliver an address to the ‘ Ugandan Parliament.

Mr Modi reached Ugandan capital, Kampala on the second leg of his three-African nations tour en route to South Africa for attending the 10th BRICS Summit.

In South Africa on the sidelines of BRICS Summit, Mr Modi is set to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.


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