Indian expo in Nigeria hopes to boost bilateral trade

Abuja, Dec 25: A three-day expo of Indian products and services in neighbouring Nigeria next month hopes to return bilateral trade to its peak of $17.3 billion, from which it has marginally declined, the Indian High Commission here says.

“IPASE-4 (Indian Products and Services Exhibition-4) is part of the High Commission’s ongoing efforts to promote visibility of Indian products and srvices in Nigeria and encourage the concerned Nigerian stakeholders, mostly SMEs,” it said in a statement announcing the January 16-18, 2014 event.

“Bilateral trade turnover was over $ 17.3 billion in 2011-12 registering a growth of over 34 per cent. During 2012-13, our exports further grew by 1.33 percent even though the bilateral trade slightly declined to $ 16.8 billion,” the statement said, adding that the figure stood at $16.6 for 2013-14.

“About 25 local businesses engaged in Indian products and services in Nigeria will be displaying them at IPASE-4,” the statement said. On view would be, among others, automobiles, fans, pumps, pharmaceuticals, herbal medicines, healthcare products, natural gas-based power generation equipment, electrical equipment and machinery, toiletries and cosmetics, imitation jewelry, shoes and fabrics.

The services sector would showcase telecom, insurance, IT training and software solutions, tele-medicine networking, healthcare and security solutions, as well as Indian food.

“India is currently Nigeria’s second largest trading partner. With a population of 168 million and considerable revenue from oil exports, Nigeria is the largest trading partner of India in Africa,” the high commission said

Nigeria is also the largest market in Africa for Indian exports, with a large number of Indian companies establishing a footprint in the country that have made substantial investments.

“In recent years, Nigeria has been one of the main sources of crude for India. Nigeria is highly important for our energy security as we import around 8 percent to 12 percent of our crude requirements from Nigeria,” the high commission said.

Apart from trade in hydrocarbons, Indian presence has arrived at a critical threshold of participation in Nigeria’s upstream sector and refining, it added.

IANS