By Naomi Uzor
The trade between Nigeria and India has hit $14.628 billion in March 2011, representing a growth of over 71 per cent compared to that of the previous year, according to the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Mahesh Sachdev.
He disclosed this at the 2nd quarterly business luncheon organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), adding that the trade balance favoured Nigeria in that it received about $12 billion more than India.
“The volume of trade has been realisable because of the multiple options within India’s free market structure and other factors which include the several trade opportunities within India’s free market and its uncomplicated visa process. Both Nigeria and India are capital deficient countries. We should learn from each other to make both countries achieve strong financial independence” Sachdev said.
He stressed that there is also insufficient leveraging of diaspora, but said that there is work in progress to address all the challenges standing as barriers to trade between both countries.
President, LCCI, Otunba Femi Deru, said opportunities abound between the two countries in areas of export and import, adding that Nigeria is the largest African exporter of crude oil to India while Indian pharmaceutical products enjoy robust patronage in Nigeria.
Deru said that the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector in India has also come to limelight as they now spearhead the deployment of sophisticated software that used to be the exclusive preserve of the Americans and Britons.
“Nigeria’s power sector is also a haven of potential for huge investments as Nigeria strives to resolve its power deficiencies that have crippled several sectors of the economy.
After highlighting the opportunities available in both countries, we must also advice that both countries must remain opened to each other in order for these opportunities to actually turn to economic and political fortunes for both countries,” he added.