EU, Nigeria to facilitate trade, investment
Nigerian Government Monday, deliberated with the European Union (EU) delegation on ways to facilitate trade and investment in Nigeria.The agreement was reached at the meeting between the Ambassador and Head of EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Michell Arion, and the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.
Also at the meeting, which held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were other ministry officials as well as 20 representatives of EU member states.The Minister noted that the meeting was subsequent upon the communiqué signed last year between Nigeria and EU, which focused on security, corruption, prosperity, migration and human development.
Commending the contributions of EU in Nigeria, the Minister stressed that the country’s expectations from the dialogue would further advance the interest as well as deepen business and trade relations between Nigeria and EU.
“The important thing is value addition in processing and packaging.“We are in the process of diversification away from oil, and we are looking towards an important trade partner and we naturally looked to the EU to explore trade opportunity with our country.
“I would like to appeal to EU and other partners to consider increasing investment and also in other areas beyond the oil sector such as agriculture and mining”, he said.
In his response, the envoy stated that EU and Nigeria could work together for mutual benefits of both parties, and enhance peace, security and economic cooperation.He said: “We believe that our prosperity is your prosperity. We see West Africa as a block of ECOWAS and Nigeria as the economic base.”
“We see West Africa not as export designation for the EU but investment destination for EU. We don’t have hidden agenda.”Adding: “What we can do to facilitate EU investment in Nigeria is paramount, not only at the level of bilateral relations but in other areas.According to him, the planned collaboration was not based on what the EU can do for Nigeria but what the EU and Nigeria could do together.