Nigeria and the UK government on Tuesday agreed on a common agenda to work together to boost a £3. 2billion trade and investment in the two countries.
The partnership agreement was signed at the talks during the Economic and Development Forum (EDF) held in London, to promote trade as a force for good.
At the Forum, both countries acknowledged 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 investments.
When these deals are concluded, the UK government said in a statement at the end of the meeting that they would 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 is expected to be set up to explore the benefits of an ETP in priority sectors of the two countries economies.
DIT officials expect the increased ambition to build on long standing economic ties between the UK and Nigeria, which is already valued at over £3.2 billion in 2021.
UK Minister for Trade, Penny Mordaunt acknowledged Nigeria as one of UK’s long-standing and strategic partners in Africa, adding he was pleased that the UK was continuing to deepen her 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,” he said.
The Forum would 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.
Alao, there would be businesses that would provide 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, Niyi Adebayo said the Nigerian government was 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,” Adebayo said.
The economic forum is the 7th event in the UK – Nigeria EDF series, 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 promotes more bilateral trade, investment and mutual prosperity.
Held every six months, the Forum serves as a platform to address market access barriers, respond to opportunities and challenges of doing business and boost bilateral trade and investment in our two countries.