LAHORE: High Commissioner of Nigeria Abioye Muhammed Bello has said huge untapped potential in the pharmaceuticals, information technology, construction and textile sectors of the two countries can be explored through joint ventures.
He was speaking at a meeting at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah presented welcome address while LCCI Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry, Nigerian Counselor Oluwatoyin Orukpe and Minister Mohammed Goni also spoke on the occasion.
The High Commissioner said that the Nigerian High Commission will extend best cooperation to the private sector of Pakistan for joint ventures with their Nigerian counterparts. He said that we should move forward to boost mutual trade and economic ties. He underlined the need to establish more banking channels to smooth bilateral trade.
He said that dissemination of trade related information holds key importance in strengthening mutual trade relations. Both the countries should exchange, particularly of a list of sector specific businessmen.
“Nigeria and Pakistan share a lot of commonalities. The two countries enjoy unique geographical locations which are strategic in their respective continents,” he added.
LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that Nigeria and Pakistan maintain a close relationship and both are key members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Commonwealth. He said that the Lahore Chamber has been voicing to explore the untapped trade and economic potential of African Continent and the country of Nigeria holds key position in this connection being the largest economy in Africa.
Talking about bilateral trade between Pakistan and Nigeria, the LCCI President said that the volume has dropped from $307 million in 2019 to $146 million in 2020. Pakistan’s imports from Nigeria fell from $280 million in 2019 to $116 million in 2020 while our exports to Nigeria increased from $27 million to $30 million in the same period.
“In our view, there is considerable potential for both countries to take the trade volume to at least above $1 billion in the short run by enhancing trade and economic cooperation in the fields of Pharmaceuticals, Light Engineering products, Surgical Instruments, Automotive Parts, Sports Goods and Value Added Textiles etc.,” Mian Tariq Misbah said adding that besides these sectors, there are also opportunities for both countries to enter into Joint Ventures in the field of oil, gas, agriculture technology and renewable energy.
He said that once the COVID situation improves further, there should be regular exchange of business delegations.
The LCCI President added that lack of sound Banking Channels is a major problem in enhancing trade. Both Governments need to take urgent steps in this connection. We have raised this important issue on many high level forums.
He said that LCCI members have often observed that information about duty structures and legal requirements in African countries are not easily available on web and other sources. The premier trade bodies of both countries can play a solid role in exchange of information which is useful for the businesses.
Mian Tariq Misbah informed the Nigerian High Commissioner that a standing committee on “Pakistan Africa Business Promotion” in LCCI. Through this forum, LCCI wants to develop close liaison with the Nigerian Chambers of Commerce so that business to business contacts may be established on a formal basis. Your support in this connection will be highly valuable.
He hoped that Pakistan and Nigerian economic ties will prosper in coming years. He said that LCCI will remain committed to facilitate the business community of both sides in the enhancement of trade linkages.
Former LCCI Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa, Executive Committee Members Shahid Nazir, Haji Muhammad Asif Sehar, Sheikh Sajjad Afzal, Fiaz Haider and Yasir Khurshid were also present on the occasion.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021