New Delhi: India will provide a line of credit worth USD 100 million (about Rs 520 crore) to Mali for helping the western African nation to expand its energy sector.

The agreement for the financial assistance to Mali was signed here on Wednesday between Exim Bank's Chairman and Managing Director T C A Ranganathan and Mali's Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga.

It was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Mali President Amadou Toumani Toure.

It is for the second time that India is extending credit line to Mali. Credit of USD 125 million was given in 2008.

Addressing a joint meeting of the business chambers -Assocham, Ficci and CII, Toure asked Indian industry to invest in his country. "I assure you about security of investment," he said there is a potential of collaboration in areas like energy, agriculture, fishery, food processing and mining.

The USD 100 million Exim Bank credit would be used for setting up transmission lines to from Cote D'ivoire, Mali's neighbourly country in its south.

A few Indian companies are present in Mali's mining sector. The country is Africa's second largest producer of long staple cotton after Egypt and the third largest producer of gold after South Africa and Ghana.

The bilateral trade between India and Mali stood at USD 76.9 million.

India's exports to the mineral-rich West African nation include machinery, drugs and pharmaceuticals, cotton fabrics and processed food, while imports comprise raw cotton and few agro products like shea nuts.

(Agencies)