FAISALABAD - After the Nigeria-Pakistan Joint Commission has been established, trade delegations would be exchanged and trade fairs would be organised to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment, said High Commissioner of Nigeria in Pakistan Dauda Donaldi.

The HC was addressing the members of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry during his visit. He said that with the arrangement, bilateral trade between both the Islamic countries would improve rapidly. He said that Nigeria possesses greater trade and investment potential in the areas of oil and gas, minerals and mining, agriculture and livestock, poultry and fisheries. He said that the investments made in Nigeria were fully guaranteed by the government in addition to 100 percent repatriation of capital and profits, 75% import duty rebate with no withholding taxes.

“To provide security to life and investment is the full responsibility of Nigerian government for foreign investors,” he added. The high commissioner continued that Nigeria offers attractive investment opportunities in the field of agriculture, livestock/commercial farming, storage, processing, marketing, textile, fertiliser manufacturing, Biofuel -Cassava and Jatropha, feedstock for growing international bio-fuel market and pharmaceuticals. He offered the industrialists and entrepreneurs to invest there to reap unmatchable avenues of profitability in Nigeria.

He said over 80 percent of Nigeria’s non-oil exports come from raw and semi-processed agricultural products having greater investment opportunities in upstream and downstream industries.

Earlier in his welcome address, FCCI President Zahid Aslam said that Pakistan and Nigeria enjoyed extremely cordial economic and political relations as brotherly Islamic countries at all international forums the D-8 Forum and the Organisation of Islamic countries. He added the countries have strong friendly and diplomatic relations and share a many similarities regarding economy, population and history.

He continued that with a population of 170 million, Nigeria is an important country for Pakistan having annual GDP growth of 6.9 percent emerging an economic power in the African Continent. Pakistan and Nigeria have bigger size of economy but trade volume between both the countries was limited only to US$ 39.89 million in 2011, he said.

Other than maintaining steady trade relations, Pakistan is greatly contributing in fulfilling the defense requirements of Nigeria, he stated. But this relationship has not been translated into tangible economic ties as Nigeria does not figure prominently among the trading partners of Pakistan which is a matter of concern, he added.

He said that there were a many positive signs to boost bilateral trade and economic relations between the two brotherly Islamic countries including joint venture in textile, agriculture, agri, leather goods and IT sectors. Nigeria can take benefit of Pakistan’s mechanised agriculture expertise which can develop the Nigerian agricultural sector to prove as food basket for the whole African continent, he added.

He emphasised the need for frequent exchange of trade delegations, increased liaison and trade information of potential buyers of Pakistani products in Nigeria to identify more and more tradable products by giving priority to each other’s products, organising delegation to Nigeria, single country exhibition at important cities in Nigeria and participation in trade exhibition in both the countries.

Head of Nigerian Mission GM Germa, Former President Mr Muzammal Sultan, former vice president Mr Rehan Nasim Bhrara, Muhammad Asghar and others shared their views on the occasion.