The West African region has emerged as an important trade partner for India in recent years, with India’s total trade with the region having risen more than sevenfold in the last six years—from $1.5 billion in 2002-03 to more than $11 billion in 2007-08 (Apr-Feb).
While India’s exports to the West African region have increased from $954 million in 2002-03 to $2.9 billion in 2007-08 (Apr-Feb), depicting a threefold rise, India’s imports from the region registered a significant rise, from $510 million to $8.5 billion during the same period, primarily due to oil imports.
Nigeria is the largest trading partner in West Africa, having a share of more than four-fifths of India’s total imports from the region, with crude oil accounting for more than 98% of India’s imports from the country in the last two years. Other major commodities imported by India from West Africa include cashew nuts, wood and wood products, metalliferrous ores, inorganic chemicals and crude fertilizers.
The major commodities exported by India to the West African region include pharmaceutical products, machinery and instruments,cotton yarn and fabrics,and electronic goods.