LAHORE: High Commissioner (HC) of Nigeria Abioye Muhammed Bello has called for the establishment of more banking channels to facilitate trade between Pakistan and Nigeria.
The HC of Nigeria visited the Lahore Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) here on Monday and also addressed trade promotion between Pakistan and Nigeria.
On the occasion, LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah delivered the welcome address while Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry, Nigerian Counselor Oluwatoyin Orukpe and Minister Mohammed Goni also addressed the gathering.
HC said that trade and investment opportunities in the pharmaceuticals, information technology, construction and textile sectors of the both countries could be exploited through joint ventures.
“The High Commission will work closely with the businessmen of the both countries for joint planning. We must move forward to promote bilateral trade and economic relations. Awareness of trade and investment opportunities is very important. In addition, both of the countries should exchange lists of businessmen according to the sectors and both countries should take full advantage of each other’s best geography,” HC said.
The LCCI President in his speech said that Nigeria and Pakistan have close ties and both countries are important members of the OIC and the Commonwealth.
“The Lahore Chamber has been emphasizing the need to take advantage of trade and investment opportunities in the African continent. Nigeria’s role in the African region is significant as it is Africa’s largest economy. Bilateral trade volume was 307 million dollars in 2019, which decreased to 146 million dollars in 2020. By boosting cooperation in the fields of pharmaceuticals, light engineering products, surgical instruments, sports equipment and valued textiles and automotive parts, bilateral trade could reach 1 billion dollar. In addition to these areas, there are vast opportunities for joint planning in the fields of oil, gas, agricultural technology and renewable energy for both countries,” Misbah said.
Misbah added that the situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic had improved and that regular exchange of trade delegations was now necessary.
“The lack of solid banking channels is hampering trade growth and both governments need to take steps in this regard. Information on duty infrastructure and regulations in African countries is not readily available on the web and other sources. Commercial enterprises of the both countries can play a significant role in exchanging information which will benefit the business sector,” he added.
Misbah also informed the HC that a standing committee called ‘Pakistan Africa Business Promotion’ has been set up in the LCCI and through this forum the LCCI wants to establish close liaison with the Chambers of Nigeria so that formal business relations can be established.