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BusinessIndia and Nigeria strengthen trade ties as China slows investments in Africa

India and Nigeria strengthen trade ties as China slows investments in Africa


and Nigeria continue to strengthen economic ties

Top trade officials from India and Nigeria met last month to further bolster the trade relations between the two economies. The Indian delegation led by Additional Secretary Amardeep Singh Bhatia held negotiations with their Nigerian counterparts in Abuja as part of the Joint Trade Committee meeting.

This development gains significance at a time when China's investments in Africa are showing signs of decline. According to the IMF, China's lending to the sub-Saharan African countries fell below $1 billion last year – the lowest level in two decades. As China's slows down in the aftermath of its property crisis, its influence on Africa is waning. Given Africa is a major market for Chinese goods and a major supplier of metals and minerals, any dip in Beijing's growth is estimated to negatively impact the African region.

India and Nigeria took the opportunity to jointly review the trade ties and identify focus sectors for boosting commerce between the two friendly nations. Key areas discussed included resolving market barriers, collaborating in oil & gas industry, pharmaceuticals, digital payments and initiating a local currency settlement system. Bilateral trade volumes between India and Nigeria reached $11.8 billion in the last financial year. Over 135 Indian companies have made investments worth $27 billion in Nigeria across vital sectors.

Both sides expressed commitment to finalizing agreements that facilitate easier trade in domestic currencies. This will provide the much-needed stimulus for further augmenting the economic engagement. With its population of over 200 million people and vast natural resources, Nigeria remains one of India's strategic partners in Africa. As China's grip on the continent appears to be loosening, possibilities are opening up for other proactive players like India to cooperate more closely with African countries.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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