December 2015 \ Interviews \ Interview with Trade and Industry Minister, Lesoth
“We consider India to be a superpower”


 Introduction: In a brief interview on Lesotho’s bilateral trade, economic relations and significance of India-Africa Summit, Hon. Senator Joshua Setipa, Minister of Trade and Industry, Kingdom of Lesotho spoke to India Empire’s Assistant Editor Misha Singh

How significant is India-Africa summit 2015, as the event has witnessed the highest attendance of delegates this year?

The numbers of head of states that have turned up for the summit are close to 40 which is a big turnout. It is a demonstration of the strategic importance that Africa attaches to its relationship with India. It also confirms India’s place in the international stage. It can be said that India is a superpower and a strategic partner to Africa. Indians and Africans have been trading for centuries and our presence consolidates the existing strong relationship between India and Africa.

What is Lesotho bringing to the table during the India-Africa summit?

Lesotho brings partnership and friendship on the table for India. We also bring opportunities for Indian companies to get a foothold in the growing African market. We say, come trade in Lesotho and use it as a springboard for African market. Africa is a growing market and has very dynamic economies and we ask India to be a part of that story. The best way to do it is to do it from Lesotho.

Please tell us about the current bilateral trade between the two countries?

Our bilateral trade with India is still very small. We are working towards increasing it and the best way to do it is to utilize or exploit the opportunities granted by the Indian Government. We believe Lesotho can do it by exporting a whole range of products into the Indian market duty free and quota free. We are in talks with the Indian Government to add more products to the list. There is a whole range of opportunities in the textile market. Learning for India’s experience will not only consolidate our industry but also create opportunities for Indian investors.