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NEW DELHI : G. Balasubramanian has been concurrently accredited as the next Permanent Representative of India to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said the Ministry of External Affairs in a press release on Wednesday. 

An officer of the Indian Foreign Service from the 1998 batch, he is presently High Commissioner of India to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

Prior to his service in Nigeria, Balasubramaniam served in India’s missions in Moscow, Washington DC, Bangkok and Dushanbe. He also dealt with multilateral bodies like UNESCAP as India’s Deputy Chief Representative. He has also served as JS (Europe West) and JS (Administration). 

India has a long-standing relationship with ECOWAS and was given the status of observer to the body in 2004. New Delhi has actively pursued a closer relationship with numerous African states and multilateral bodies. Part of India’s engagement with ECOWAS is economic. In 2006, India gave the grouping a line of credit (LoC) worth $250 million. Other fields of economic cooperation have included energy, telecom and transportation in ECOWAS countries. In this effort, India’s Export and IMport Bank (EXIM) has played an important role in providing finance. 

India has also looked to expand business linkages between itself and West Africa. Numerous editions of the India-Africa Forum Summit as well as efforts by industry bodies like Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) have played a major role in expanding these business ties. 

ECOWAS has also supported India’s bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.

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