Nigeria, UK Hold Talks to Boost £3.2bn Bilateral Trade Relations
Nigeria and United Kingdom (UK) held trade and investment talks at the seventh meeting of the UK-Nigeria Economic and Development Forum (EDF) yesterday in London. The talks focused on how to promote bilateral trade between both countries, which was valued at £3.2 billion in 2021.
At the forum, both countries highlighted increased support for small and medium-sized enterprises in Nigeria, including the UK Manufacturing Africa programme, which has helped 12 firms in Nigeria secure foreign investment.
When the deals are concluded, they could generate over $300 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) for Nigeria and directly create 5,000 jobs, the UK High Commission in Nigeria disclosed in a statement.
In addition, the UK and Nigeria agreed to start discussions on an Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) to strengthen trade and high value investment across both countries.
An official working level group would also be set up to explore the benefits of an ETP in priority sectors, as there was increased ambition to build on long standing economic ties between the UK and Nigeria.
The UK Minister for Trade, Penny Mordaunt, was quoted as saying, “Nigeria is one of our long-standing and strategic partners in Africa, and I am pleased that the UK is continuing to deepen our investment relationship with one of the most vibrant and innovative economies in the continent.
“Through the Economic and Development Forum, we can demonstrate how trade is a force for good creating jobs and prosperity and reaffirm our commitment to boost economic ties, support businesses, and grow new markets.”
According to the statement, the forum would include a tech matchmaking event for technology businesses from both countries hosted by venture capitalist firm LocalGlobe, in collaboration with TheCityUK, TechNation, and Innovate UK, tomorrow.
There, businesses would have the opportunity to explore potential partnerships and share best practice on how to raise vital development capital and registering a business in foreign markets.
Nigeria’s Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, said, “The Nigerian government is committed to implementing reforms that can attract more foreign direct investment into key industries, boost trade and development and create employment opportunities for Nigeria’s youth by leveraging technology.
“We welcome the commitment to enhancing the relationship between our two countries today and underscore the significance of deepening our bilateral trade policy relationship in a mutually beneficial manner.”
This was the seventh event in the UK-Nigeria EDF series, which was launched during former UK Prime Minister, Theresa May’s visit to Africa in August 2018, to create a platform to discuss trade and economic development issues that promote more bilateral trade, investment, and mutual prosperity.
It is held every six months and serves as a platform to address market access barriers, respond to opportunities and challenges of doing business and boost bilateral trade and investment in the two countries.
Culled from THISDAY