Abuja - Nigeria and France have established the Franco-Nigeria Trade and Investment Council and announced a collaboration between Nigeria’s Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) and its French counterpart, Banque Publique d’Investissement (BPI France).
Government officials said this would drive the growth of the countries' economies.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, signed the agreement to set up the FNTIC with his counterpart, the French Minister of Foreign Trade, Nicole Bricq.
Aganga said the council would identify areas of investment across all sectors of the economy and report on progress made on a quarterly basis.
He added that the private sector would drive the council.
“We have signed the agreement for the setting up of the Franco-Nigerian Trade and Investment Council.
"This will be made up of the private sector that will be the key drivers, but sponsored by the two Ministers, who will create the environment for them to thrive.
"We will identify opportunities and areas for investment across all sectors of the economy and then issue a report on a quarterly basis on the progress that has been made so that it will be action-oriented and result-oriented,” he said.
Bricq said Nigeria was of strategic economic importance to France. She added that the setting up of the FNTIC was part of France’s efforts towards facilitating more foreign direct investment into Nigeria.
“For us, Nigeria is a very strategic and must-have partner. So, given the great importance of Nigeria as a regional economic engine, we want to increase our trade and investment activities in Nigeria by ensuring that more French companies invest in Nigeria," she said.
Bricq said France aimed to increase the number of French companies that will invest in Nigeria by 50 percent within the next few years.
"We want to assure Nigerians that France is ready and willing to put its financial resources behind this initiative to make it work," she added.
- CAJ News