The embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Nigeria said it has started series of trade and investment promotion activities in Nigeria aimed at bolstering the bilateral trade and investment volume between Nigeria and the UAE.
According a statement issued by the Embassy yesterday, the trade promotion initiative which is coordinated in collaboration with the UAE International Investment Council (UAEIIC), the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in Nigeria, focuses on attracting key industry stakeholders and investors across all sectors in Nigeria and the UAE in a bid to develop and explore future trade opportunities.
The statement said that Nigeria has been chosen among the 34 selected countries globally participating in the initiative because of its pivotal position as a top investment market in the West African region and its overall economic influence in Africa.
The UAE Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) Sheikh Shakhboot Bin Nahyan Al Nahyan while describing the strength of the UAE/Nigeria economic relations as enduring, expressed satisfaction with the level of trade, political and cultural partnership that exists between both countries.
He said: “As the ninth largest exporter to Nigeria globally, the UAE continues to see Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, as an important, trusted partner. ..To date, we remain Nigeria’s largest trade partner in the Middle East region, accounting for 35 per cent of Nigeria’s total trade with the region. Over the past few years, there have been high-level political exchanges amid continuing mutual trust between both countries, which has led to the signing of several key agreements aimed at solidifying overall bilateral relations.
“It is my desire that the existing relationship continues to grow as the global economy gradually recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I hope that investors in both the UAE and Nigeria will take advantage of our increasingly close ties to benefit from our strategic geographical location and the opportunities across both conventional and new emerging sectors. With non-oil trade between our nations valued at $1.4b in 2019, I would like to see this increase and look forward to working towards this in a mutual beneficial manner.’’
In his remarks, The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi is confident the UAE/Nigeria ties will continue to grow in areas of trade and investment. “UAE and Nigeria relationship is witnessing a positive development dominated by cooperation, respect and mutual interests. The two countries are enjoying growth rates of bilateral trade while the volume of non-oil trade while the volume of non-oil trade exchange reached 1.45 billion dollars by the end of 2019, as our goal is to increase non-oil bilateral trade based on huge trade and investment potentials and promising opportunities in the two countries’ market and vital sectors,” he said.
The Nigerian minister of industry, trade and investment Otunba Niyi Adebayo reaffirmed Nigeria’s readiness to make UAE a top destination for exports because of its strategic position in the Middle East region.
He said: “Moving forward we hope to further strengthen our economic ties for economic development with common interest for both countries.
“We reaffirm Nigeria’s readiness to make UAE one of our preferred leading export markets because of her positioning as a strategic global and regional trade and investment hub.”