Fri, Mar 24, 2017 | updated 07:37 PM IST

Considerable potential for expanding trade between India, Nigeria: Vice President Ansari

Updated: Sep 27, 2016 22:39 IST
By Amit Shankar

Abuja [Nigeria], Sept. 27 (ANI): As both India and Nigeria make an attempt to broad base their economy, Vice President M. Hamid Ansari on Tuesday said both nations should harness the complementarities in attracting investments, which is a key factor for a positive economic growth.

He emphasised that there is a considerable potential for expanding trade in the areas of automotive components, automobiles, engineering products, IT, pharmaceuticals, bio-technology and healthcare sectors.

Noting that Nigeria is an important partner for India's energy security requirement and about 12 percent of India's crude requirement comes from Nigeria, Vice President Ansari said, "Given India's current and expanding energy requirements, there is significant potential for diversifying our engagement in oil and gas sector by enhancing our cooperation in both upstream and downstream domains."

Asserting that the overall engagement between India and Nigeria remains vibrant and full of vitality, the Vice President said, "It is a matter of satisfaction that for the last few years, India has been the largest trading partner of Nigeria, and Nigeria is the largest trading partner of India in Africa. Our bilateral trade has been growing steadily for the last one decade and touched US$16 billion in 2014-15. It is only because of the global decline in oil prices that our trade has slowed down in the past one year. Economic and commercial cooperation occupies prominent position in our bilateral matrix."

"Over 100 Indian companies have made Nigeria their base to operate in West Africa, employing the largest number of Nigerians after the Federal Government, and covering diverse sectors of the economy. It is estimated that the Indian investments have exceeded 10 billion US Dollars so far, and another 5 billion US dollars are committed. Indian investments are in diverse sectors such as communications, power, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, automotive sector and oil, among others," he said at the Nigeria-India Business Forum, which was also attended by Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Stressing on the need to synergise efforts by both nations in the areas of economy and business," Vice President Ansari observed, "The vast consumer market, youthful and skilled human resources and expertise in the field of information technology of India coupled with Nigeria's natural resources, youthful population and strategic location would provide a platform for enhanced economic engagement."

"We are extremely happy to see the initiatives which Nigeria has launched under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. As Nigeria embarks with renewed vigour and determination in realising greater prosperity for its people, India stands ready to join as a partner."

The Vice President noted that the market liberalisation of India in the nineties followed by calibrated economic reforms in the past decade has led to sustainable economic growth and socio-economic development and India's economy registered a growth of 7 percent in the last quarter, which is one of the highest rates globally. "The fast rate of urbanization and the growth of a large, aspirational middle class in India, coupled with a youthful population make India one of the most attractive markets in the world today," he added.

"The last two decades of economic growth have also strengthened India's private sector and it is keen to expand its global operations. The innovative spirit of Indian industry, backed by a strong government research and development push and a network of quality education institutions, make India and the Indian companies the most promising business partners today," he added.

Holding infrastructure development and energy security as key areas for cooperation for emerging economies like India and Nigeria, the Vice President said, "These sectors allow for both our countries to collaborate and benefit from each other's expertise. Infrastructure stimulation programmes launched by the Government of India, like the mission to develop 100 Smart Cities, upgrade infrastructure development in urban and rural areas and enhance nationwide connectivity through the 'Digital India' programme, have created massive opportunities for foreign partners in the Indian economy."

Our societies are still largely agrarian. Therefore, agricultural industry, food processing and related small and medium enterprises offer opportunities for trade and investment which could be explored by our business houses with the support from the governments.

"The Green Alternative Plan - a roadmap to make Nigeria, not only self-sufficient in agriculture but also a major exporter of quality agricultural products, launched last month offers an opportunity for sharing of India's experience in agro-industry sector," he said.

Noting that India's expertise and proven capabilities in production of pharmaceuticals, especially generic medicines at affordable cost, advancement in healthcare sectors and science and technology, high quality education at reasonable cost could also be potential areas of investments by both sides, Vice President Ansari said, "Indian private sector is keen to further engage with their Nigerian counterparts in diverse sectors of the economy. In June this year, ASSOCHAM established its Abuja Chapter. This is in addition to the existing Nigeria-India Chamber of Commerce and Industries (NICCI) that is based in Lagos."

"We have the institutional mechanism to review progress made in the bilateral engagement including in trade and investments sectors. The next Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) will take stock of the ongoing cooperation in trade and investments," said the Vice President.

Observing that in the backdrop of the current international economic and financial situation, there is an even greater need for us to join hands and synergise our growth strategies, he said, "India and Nigeria are well placed to convert this challenge into an opportunity. We count on you, the business leaders from Nigeria and India, to be the architects of this important change."

Wishing the Business Meet a great success in its deliberations, the Vice President said, "I thank the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Nigerian National Chamber of Commerce together with the Confederation of Indian Industry ( CII) and ASSOCHAM India-Nigeria Business Council for partnering in holding this important Business Meet."

"I am very happy to be here today at this gathering of captains of trade and industry from Nigeria and India, two of the most dynamic emerging economies of the world. I see from your agenda that you would be holding intensive deliberations on expanding our existing commercial relations as well as for identifying new sectors of economic cooperation," he added.

Vice President Ansari on Monday left on a five-day official visit to Nigeria and Mali as part of efforts to bolster New Delhi's ties with both West African nations.

The historic State visit to Nigeria by then prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in October 2007 after a gap of over forty five years elevated the strategic partnership.

Nigeria is India's largest trading partner in Africa with the bilateral trade amounting to USD 12.6 billion in 2015-16.

India is also the largest buyer of crude oil from Nigeria, and more than 100 Indian companies have a large presence there as well as both the countries have strong defence cooperation.

On the second leg of his trip, the Vice President will reach Mali on September 29 for the first ever high-level visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Modibo Keita. (ANI)

Seoul [South Korea], Mar. 24 (ANI): South Korea on Friday protested Japan's history textbooks for high school, which reflect Tokyo's repeated territorial claims to a pair of rocky islets lying halfway between the two countries.

Full Story >>

Manila [Philippines], Mar. 24 (ANI): Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte while looking forward to his second trip to China this May to attend the "One Belt, One Road" Summit said on Friday said that he can 'choose friends who are kind and understanding'.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Mar. 24 (ANI): A Hawaii federal judge, who ruled against U.S. President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, has received threat messages, the FBI said.

Full Story >>

London [UK], Mar. 24 (ANI): At least one person was killed and three others were injured after an explosion in a suburb of the Egyptian capital of Cairo today interestingly on the same day as ousted former president Hosni Mubarak was released from prison.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar. 24 (ANI): Pakistan on Friday confirmed its participation in a multinational peace conference on Afghanistan to be held next month in Russia.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Ousted former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak on Friday walked free after six years.

Full Story >>

London [U.S.], Mar. 24 (ANI): Londoners trickled into Trafalgar Square for a vigil, a day after a deadly terror attack near the premises of the British Parliament rocked the city.

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.], Mar. 24 (ANI): In an attempt to break the resistance of House Republicans refusing to pass the health care bill that is taking a toll on his new administration, President Donald Trump has issued an ultimatum.

Full Story >>

Karachi [Pakistan], Mar. 24 (ANI): The United States has warned that the militant Islamic State (IS) group has stepped up its efforts in recruiting young people from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Full Story >>

Karachi [Pakistan], Mar. 24 (ANI): Seven Taliban leaders are currently in Islamabad as Pakistan is making attempts to convince them to engage in peace talks ahead of a crucial meeting in Moscow in April.

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.], Mar. 24 (ANI): Following the security breach incident in which a man gained access to the White House grounds by jumping the fence, at least six Secret Service employees are expected to face disciplinary action.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar. 24 (ANI): Pakistan's National Day grand parade, for the first time, included Chinese troops, underlining the deepening ties between China and Islamabad.

Full Story >>

Pumped up Trump drives a truck

Updated: Mar 24, 2017 07:12 IST

London [U.K.], Mar. 24 (ANI): Amid the battle over the health care bill yet to be passed, United States President Donald Trump found time to indulge in some fanfare.

Full Story >>

London [U.K.], Mar. 24 (ANI): The Taliban has captured a key district in Helmand province, which was once considered a deadly battlefield for the British and the U.S. troops in Afghanistan, as reported by The Guardian.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Two people were injured after a munition depot in eastern Ukraine caught fire, causing the weapons to detonate, as reported by Sputnik International.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Pakistan on Thursday asserted that Islamabad had always tried to maintain cordial relations with all of its neighbours and expressed hope that its ties with New Delhi would improve in the near future.

Full Story >>

House delays health care bill to Friday

Updated: Mar 24, 2017 05:21 IST

New York [U.S.A.], Mar. 24 (ANI): The House will vote on legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare on Friday morning, following a day of multiple high-level meetings, which one senior administration official describing the meeting with one word - intense.

Full Story >>

Actor Kal Penn targets Trump administration

Updated: Mar 24, 2017 03:52 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Hollywood actor and longtime Obama supporter Kal Penn took to Twitter to post a series of searingly sarcastic tweets that target the low participation of 'people of colour' in the current White House or the GOP, led by President Donald Trump.

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.A.], Mar. 24 (ANI): U.S. President Donald Trump has defended claims he made in his stint as a political leader in an interview given to the Time magazine published on Thursday.

Full Story >>

Geneva [Switzerland], Mar. 23 (ANI): After the Pakistani delegation at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) interrupted the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) representatives to speak on the issue of gross human rights violation with the Balochi people due to the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, the international community on Thursday sidelined the former's request and asked the representatives to complete their statement.

Full Story >>