Nigeria seeks to expand $11.8bln bilateral trade with India

The Federal Government (FG) is seeking to expand over $11.8 billion bilateral trading partnership with the Republic of India in a bid to boost growth in key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Speaking at the Nigerai-India Business Council (NIBC) held in Abuja, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka Anite commended India for investing much in Nigeria.
She said that, “I would like to commend the efforts of both countries in concluding the sixth session of the Nigeria-India Joint Commission Meeting held yesterday (Monday).
“India is among Nigeria’s top 10 trading partners, and Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa. The total bilateral trade between India and Nigeria as of 2022 stood at USD 14.95 billion, as against USD 8.81 billion during the year 2020 – 2021; this, unfortunately, dipped to USD 11.8bn last year but remains a clear indication of the importance of trade relations between our two nations”.
Anite further explained; “During my time in India, I met with several pharmaceutical companies, many of whom were interested in coming into the Nigerian market or expanding already existing operations.
“Since our visit, one of these companies is in the process of setting up a new $10m plant in Ota, Ogun State. They currently sell approximately 100 pharmaceutical products in Nigeria and approx. 50% are imported.
“This plant is the first step in making sure their products are 100% locally produced. This is the kind of development that we want to see more of and we urge other Indian manufacturers to also support our backward integration drive in this way.
“Our two nations have long been bound by warm, friendly, and deeply rooted bilateral relations. Today’s forum is a testament to the progress we’ve made, building upon the foundations laid by H.E President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, during the Presidential Roundtable held in New Delhi, India, on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
“That pivotal meeting saw Indian investors pledge an impressive total of almost $14 billion worth of investment into Nigeria’s economy. During that same meeting Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, the Director-General of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), promised to send a high-level delegation to Nigeria and I am pleased to see that he has kept to his word and even exceeded our expectations by bringing together such a strong group of business leaders”.
“Nigeria is home to approximately 150 Indian companies, many of which are such strong household names that we have embraced them as our own.
“Companies such as Bharti Airtel, Tata, Stallion Motors, Churchgate, and Indorama. I have even noticed that Nigerian-based Indian companies are some of the biggest ambassadors for doing business in our market, this is a testament to the conducive business environment that Nigeria provides for Indian companies to thrive,” the Minister further noted.
In his address, the Minister of External Affairs of India, Dr S. Jaishankar said; “this is the first time that a Foreign Affairs Minister from India will be visiting Nigeria”.
He explained that this is because of the value that India placed in doing business with Nigeria, adding that the country is India’s largest trading partner in Africa.

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