Ambassador calls for promoting Pak -Nigeria trade

ISLAMABAD – Maj Gen (r) Ashimiyu Adebayo Olaniyi, Ambassador of Nigeria, has said that Pakistan and Nigeria have many commonalities that should be leveraged for promoting bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries.

He said Nigeria has excellent cooperation with Pakistan in defence field, but the bilateral trade was not encouraging. He said both countries have big consumer markets and huge potential to cooperate with each other in many fields including agriculture, minerals, pharmaceuticals, oil & gas, energy and others. He said Pakistani pharmaceuticals, tractors and many other products have great potential in Nigeria.

He stated this while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Miss Florence Tanko, Head of Chancery, and Olarewaju Rilwan, Minister Counsellor II, Embassy of Nigeria, also accompanied.

The Nigerian envoy said that Pakistan and Nigeria should develop strong cooperation between their SMEs that would help in upscaling the two-way trade. He said PIA should consider launching direct flights between Pakistan and Nigeria that would help in improving trade volume. He said Nigeria has made same liberal investment policy for foreign investors as that of Pakistan and urged that Pakistani investors should explore Nigeria for investment opportunities. He said an international trade fair would be held in Abuja, Nigeria in February 2018 and added that it was a good opportunity for Pakistani businessmen to take part in it and explore business prospects in Nigeria.

Speaking at the occasion, Sheikh Amir Waheed, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that Pakistan and Nigeria were doing trade in limited items due to which the bilateral trade was not up to the mark and stressed that both countries should focus on diversification of trade to achieve better results. He said both countries have good potential to get better access to bigger markets by enhancing cooperation as Nigeria was a gateway for Africa and Pakistan was a gateway for South Asia.

He said both countries could help each other in manufacturing, agriculture, energy, natural resources and many other sectors for which direct connectivity between their private sectors was key requirement. He said many Pakistani products including agriculture machinery, electrical products, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, textiles & garments, sports goods, surgical instruments could find good market in Nigeria.

Muhammad Naveed, Senior Vice President, and Nisar Mirza, Vice President ICCI, said that Nigerian investors should explore JVs and investment in CPEC project. They said that Pakistan could help Nigeria in setting up sugar, cement, fertilizer, engineering and other industrial plants. They said frequent exchange of trade delegations and holding single country exhibitions would help in identifying all untapped areas of potential cooperation.

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