From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The trade volume between Nigeria and the Republic of India has reached $14.95b, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gangadharan Balasubramanian, said in Abuja on Thursday.
Balasubramanian disclosed that Air Peace has finalised arrangements to commence direct flights from Nigeria to India.
The trade volume, Balasubramanian explained, which was favourable to Nigeria, covered the years 2021 and 2022
Speaking during the 74th Republic Day of India in Abuja, Balasubramanian further said within the period, India purchased ten and half billion dollars worth of oil from Nigeria.
The Indian envoy added that about four and half billion dollars worth of goods, including pharmaceuticals and engineering goods, were sent to Nigeria from India.
“So, there is a lot of cooperation in the trade sector and we hope to increase that further,” Balasubramanian said.
On efforts to balance the trade between both countries, Balasubramanian noted that it was based on demand and supply from both sides.
“So, it is a commercial thing. But we are trying to look at the foundation agreements like the double taxation avoidance treaty, bilateral investment treaty to be put in place which are important for increasing trade and economic cooperation,” Balasubramanian also said.
On the issue of direct flights between Nigeria and India, the envoy disclosed that he received information from Air Peace on Wednesday that it will begin operation very soon.
“They have all the commissions to fly to Bombay and just awaiting the date from them. The person from Air Peace had actually reached out to us to come and inaugurate it. We will be doing it very soon,” the Indian envoy stated.
Earlier, Balasubramanian said both countries were looking at deepening cooperation in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) area, particularly 5G, Universal Payment Index (UPI) and also the Roopay part of it.
“It will be possible for us to achieve all these things and it will help us in our trade and economic cooperation,” Balasubramanian added.
In the field of agriculture, the envoy said both countries were also making efforts to revive agriculture.