From Africa to Latin America: India Keen to Invest in Raw Materials

by | 3. Jul 2024 - 11:49 | Politics

Focus is shifting from India’s natural resources to foreign deposits to reduce import dependencies.

As an emerging economic power in the Indo-Pacific and now the world’s most populous country, India is increasingly trying to get a foothold in the raw materials sector. In addition to mining its natural resources to reduce its dependence on imports, foreign deposits have long since come to the fore. According to Veena Kumari Dermal, Minister of State in the Ministry of Mines, quoted by the Economic Times, India is currently in talks with countries in Africa and Latin America. According to Dermal, Indian companies are to be supported in overseas investments; the state-owned mining company KABIL, for example, plans to explore lithium in Argentina. So far, China, especially, has been active in the countries of the so-called Global South, investing in local infrastructure and securing access to raw materials for numerous technologies in return.

India is also negotiating increased cooperation in the minerals sector with Australia, with which a preliminary free trade agreement has already been signed, said Indian Trade Minister Sunil Barthwal on Monday. With its vast resources and significant mining industry, Australia is working to establish itself as an alternative commodity supplier to China.

Dermal and Barthwal were speaking at the India Energy Storage Week in New Delhi, a conference on vehicle electrification.

Just two weeks ago, India signed an agreement with the United States in which raw materials play a prominent role alongside strategic technologies such as semiconductors. For example, joint investments are planned in a lithium project in South America and a rare earth deposit in Africa.

Photo: iStock/Oleksii Liskonih

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