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JM Financial Consultants and Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), a division of FirstRand Limited (FirstRand), have agreed to enter into a strategic co-operation in the field of M&A advisory services to Indian and African corporates for their activities in the business corridor.

JM Financial Group's Chairman, Nimesh Kampani, and FirstRand's CEO Sizwe Nxasana signed the MoU in Mumbai where South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma, is on a state visit.

Nimesh Kampani, chairman, JM Financial Group, said, in a statement, "In recent years, several Indian companies have shown interest in Africa. Both Africa and India, are vibrant emerging economies, each with a rich resource base, a vast talent pool and low cost business models, offering immense business opportunities to investors, and thereby being a favourite investment destination world over".

Trade and investment between Africa and India is significantly on the rise with India set to become one of Africa's major trading and investment partners over the next decade. The bilateral trade between India and Africa is likely to grow by an estimated 22% in the next two-years from the current levels of close to $45 billion to $55 billion in 2012, according to the statement from JM Financial.

As per the MoU, JM Financial and RMB will jointly provide M&A advisory services to Indian clients seeking to make investments into entities or transactions in Africa and African clients seeking to make investments in entities or transactions in India.

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