India set to sign trade, investment pacts with Nigeria | world | Hindustan Times
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India set to sign trade, investment pacts with Nigeria

world Updated: Jan 15, 2010 21:37 IST

India is expected to sign with Nigeria, its largest trading partner in Africa, three key agreements in June this year for trade promotion, investment protection and avoidance of double taxation.

The agreements, aimed at doubling India's trade with Nigeria to $20 billion, would be "the building blocks for negotiations on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told reporters here on the sidelines of 'Namaskar Africa' organised by FICCI and West African trade bloc ECOWAS Commission.

He said the agreements are likely to be signed in June.

The investment protection pact would lead to increased cross border investments between the two countries, he said.

Indian firms, including state-owned oil exploration company ONGC Videsh have significant presence in the oil-rich African nation.

The trade between the two countries stood at USD 10 billion in 2009 comprising mainly of oil imports from the Nigerian region.

Sharma has already discussed the agreements with his Nigerian counterpart Achike Udenwa.

India is betting big on Nigeria to meet its domestic demand for crude oil. Nigeria accounts for nearly 15 per cent of India's total crude oil imports.

Sharma said India is keen to invest in the region in sectors including roads, power, IT and telecom, healthcare and education.