Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Nagabhushana Reddy, has said that the bilateral trade between India and Nigeria would be strengthened through the India-West Africa Regional Conclave.
Reddy said this in his address at the press conference in Abuja in preparation for the second edition of the India-West Africa Regional Conclave scheduled to hold in Nigeria from October 8 to Oct. 9.
The conference was organized by the India High Commission in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) and Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).
According to him, the conclave, which will hold in Abuja, will serve as platform for dialogue between India and the 15 West African countries.
Reddy said: “this is part of our larger engagement to support governments on the provision of business platforms with different stakeholders.
“It is in this context that the second edition of the regional conclave will hold in Abuja; we are looking forward to government to government level of business engagement.
“I hope the conclave will draw a new era of engagement between our country and West African countries with Nigeria at the centre.
“Nigeria is the largest trading partner of India and vice versa the biggest in Africa.
“So, we are very hopeful these engagement will bring about the much desired promotion in terms of more Indian technology investment, generation of employment, which will benefit India and Africa.”
The Regional Director of CII, Mr Balakrishan Rajesh, said that the conclave became important for both countries to create platform for business people to meet and interact.
He said that the choice of Abuja was because India had identified Nigeria as preferred country for its trade with energy-rich West Africa in line with the country’s diversification policy.
He also mentioned Cote d’ Ivoire and Ghana as among countries in the region that were listed in India’s policy of diversifying its energy sources.
According to him, the conclave is structured into thematic sessions focused on major areas of India-West Africa economic partnership.
Rajesh said: “this include sustainable financing, infrastructure and green energy, agriculture and agro-processing and services (education, health and IT).”
He said that over 200 delegates across 15 African countries,70 business representative from India and 20 chief executives officers would participate in the event.
He urged interested persons to apply on-line via indiawestafricaconclave.com.
Mr Adeshina Emmanuel, Director of Investment Promotion of NIPC, said that the conclave initiative would be apt toward sustainable partnership between India and Nigeria.
According to him, it will encourage private sector operators and key financial institutions to identify priority areas and special projects for Indian investment and partnership with long terms commitment to West Africa.
“The conclave will also focus on economic and commercial deliberations through business to government and business to business engagements,” Emmanuel said.
Prof. Adesoji Adesuga, the Vice President of ACCI, commended the choice of Abuja as the preferred venue for the conclave, saying it would further boost business cooperation.
According to him, the choice of Abuja will attract more investors to the Federal Capital Territory for the three million people residing in the place.