By Francis Kokutse
Lagos: Improved relations between India and Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and a major oil exporter, have led to the trade volume between the two countries rising to $17.3 billion over the past year, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria Mahesh Sachdev has said.
Speaking at the Indian Day celebrations at the Lagos International Trade Fair, which opened Nov 2, he said: “With bilateral trade of over $17.3 billion, India is currently Nigeria’s second largest trading partner. It is hoped that India’s participation will further enhance our bilateral trade.”
According to statistics of the Indian Department of Commerce, the total Indian imports from Nigeria amounted to $14,622.57 million, a 35.56 percent increase over the previous year’s figure of about $10,788 million.
In addition, exports witnessed a rise by 28.65 percent to about $2,700 million this year as against about $2,100 million over the previous year.
The 2012 Lagos International Trade Fair is organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), with the support and cooperation of the federal and the state governments and covers all aspects of business and economic activities in Nigeria.
Products on display at the India Pavilion include fashion garments, costume, imitation and artificial jewellery, handicrafts, wood carvings, stainless steel items and Kalamkari hand paintings.
Others are cotton silk sarees, handloom jute products, home furnishings, cotton wall-hanging, posters, banners, kitchenware, photography goods, footwear, oxygen/nitrogen plants and packing polythene.
The fair offers a unique exposition for manufacturers, suppliers, buyers and users of a wide range of goods and services as well as opportunities for investment and trade promotion and has “Promoting Trade for Sustainable Economic Transformation” as its theme for this year’s fair.
It is anticipated to draw about 500,000 visitors from within and outside the country including businessmen, investors, top government officials and representatives.
India’s five major exports to Nigeria include rice, which amounts to about $351 million, transport equipment (about $347 million), machinery and instrument (about $327 million), drugs, pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals (about $308 million) and electronic goods (about $286 million).