Pak businessmen invited to tap huge trade potential of Nigeria

LAHORE – High Commissioner of Nigeria Maj General (r) Ashimiyu Adebayo Olaniyi has said that huge untapped potential of Nigeria can be explored though joint ventures between the private sectors of the two countries. Nigerian government would extend maximum cooperation to achieve the goal of economic prosperity.

He was talking to LCCI president Malik Tahir Javaid, Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rashid and Executive Committee members here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Awais Saeed Piracha, Adeeb Iqbal Sheikh, Zafar Mahmood and Mian Zahid Javed were also present.

Nigerian High Commissioner said that low volume of the bilateral trade demands extra ordinary efforts from the businessmen of the two countries. He invited the Pakistani businessmen to enter into joint ventures with their Nigerian counterparts in the fields of agriculture, textile and manufacturing.

He said that easing of visa process between the two countries could increase the bilateral trade in shortest possible time.

LCCI president Malik Tahir Javaid said that Pakistan does consider the value of strengthening the trade and economic relations with Nigeria keeping in view the big market of Africa. He said that Pakistan and Nigeria are also members of Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and have friendly and strong diplomatic relations. Other than maintaining steady trade relations, Pakistan has been greatly contributing in fulfilling the defence requirement of Nigeria.

“Nigeria is one of the major member states of African Union. It is classified as an emerging market rapidly approaching to middle income status”, the LCCI president added. However, this relationship has not been translated into tangible economic ties because Nigeria unfortunately does not figure prominently among the trading partners of Pakistan.

“Nigeria and Pakistan share a lot of commonalities. The two countries enjoy unique geographical locations which are strategic in their respective continents. Both also share other things in common, including the population and its diversity. However, in spite of these commonalities the economic relations between Nigeria and Pakistan is low compared with the size and endowments both countries possessed in terms of human and natural resources. The current trade volume between Nigeria and Pakistan is about $ 500 million USD”, Nigerian High Commissioner concluded.

Malik Tahir Javaid said that the downward trend in exports of Pakistan to Nigeria and overall downfall in bilateral trade is a matter of concern. “We need to find reasons of this trend and also take measures to turn around the situation”, he added.

Major export items from Pakistan to Nigeria are medicament mixtures, cotton fabrics, woven fabric of synthetic fiber, tractors, garments, and electro-medical apparatus etc.

Items of imports from Nigeria to Pakistan comprise cotton, raw hides & skins, pharmaceutical products and articles of rubber etc.

The LCCI president said that Pakistan is capable of facilitating Nigerian market with better quality products at competitive rates. Pakistan can export rice, electrical appliances, auto-parts etc. even at much competitive rates. He said that there is a dire need to identify more tradable products to enhance mutual trade. Likewise, sharing of expertise in oil and gas sector can also be initiated on priority.

He said that Pakistan is known around the globe for its textile products, sports goods, surgical instruments, rice, carpets, footwear and so many other consumable items, which still need to be properly introduced in African markets. He said that market research should be conducted regarding the range of products and priority may be given to each other for import of products. The LCCI president said that frequent exchange of trade delegations, continuous liaison and exchange of information can prove important instruments to strengthen our trade and investment relations.

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