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Nigeria/Europe trade volume hits 28 billion euros

20 September 2013, 21:26

Lagos - The European Union (EU) Delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said on Friday that exports from Nigeria to Europe had reached a volume of 28 billion euros.

Massimo De Luca, EU Trade Counsellor, told newsmen at a briefing in Lagos that the 2nd European Union-Nigerian Business Forum would to hold from Oct. 3 to Oct. 4, in Lagos.

According to him, Europe is the biggest market for Nigeria's non-oil commodities, as there is an estimated 40 billion Euros of European investment holdings in Nigeria.

"Europeans have enjoyed a business relationship, which spans through several decades with Nigerian entrepreneurs.

"They have been exporting cocoa, rubber, cotton and leather to Europe, for a long time," he said.

David MacRae, Head, Delegation of EU to Nigeria, said that the forthcoming business forum was a platform for Public/Private Partnerships to strengthen ties between Nigeria and the EU.

"The value of the combined connection between Nigeria and Europe is immeasurable and probably underestimated.

"Despite the general economic upheavals of the last few years, the EU remains the biggest trade and investment partners to Nigeria.

"The forum will create opportunities to leverage our business connections beyond figures, into bigger relationships that will create prospects for many people," he said.

MacRae also said that the forum would focus on projecting Nigeria as a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) country, to the rest of the world.

"The SMEs are key in developing supply chains and creating jobs.

"A market that is not SME-friendly, cannot deliver on developments from production to post-sales services.

"The EU connected SMEs possess high levels of business and technical know-how and they are constantly looking for investment opportunities around the world,’’ MacRae said.

Jennifer Anoyika, Chief Operating Officer, Nigerian-German Business Association, said that the forum would hold annually, henceforth.

According to her, it will also focus on the business, energy, construction and agricultural sectors of the economy.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the forum is being organised by 12 European countries, in collaboration with the EU Delegation to Nigeria.

A fashion show and a movie festival would form part of side attractions during the forum.



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