Trade: Nigeria, UK host talks to boost £3.2bn partnership
Fred Omotara, Lagos
The UK and Nigeria held trade and investment talks today at the Economic and Development Forum (EDF) in London, to promote trade as a force for good and boost a partnership worth over £3 billion.
At the Forum held recently, both countries marked 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 these deals conclude, they will generate over $300 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) for Nigeria and directly create 5,000 jobs.
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 will be set up to explore the benefits of an ETP in priority sectors. DIT officials expect the increased ambition to build on long standing economic ties between the UK and Nigeria which is already worth £3.2 billion in 2021.
According to the UK Minister for Trade, Penny Mordaunt, “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.”
The Forum will include a tech matchmaking event for technology businesses from both nations hosted by venture capitalist firm LocalGlobe, in collaboration with TheCityUK, TechNation and Innovate UK tomorrow.
There, businesses will 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.
In his own speech, Nigeria’s Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo stated that, “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.”