Egypt and Nigeria vow for more trade
Egypt and Nigeria have reiterated their determination to boost trade between them during the first edition of the Nigeria-Egypt Forum held in Abuja. Both countries were dissatisfied with the level of trade between them and new plans are underway to surpass their $150 million trade volume.
Egypt’s ambassador to Nigeria, Ashraf Salama, said they should engage in “utilizing the opportunities available for business” in both countries as he expressed sentiments of under exploitation of resources and expertise at their disposal. He said that the amount of trade fell below expectations as he urged for a better cooperation towards exploring the business opportunities available in their various domains in order “to boost the bilateral trade in the near future.”
The president of Nigeria-Egypt Business Council, Alhaji Mohammed Lere, said the council’s objectives are to create opportunities for investors from the two countries and to strengthen the bond between them. He singled out that the health sector needs attention due to the millions of dollars spent annually by Nigerians for a medical care in Egypt. He urged investors to concentrate on the sector in Nigeria in order to reduce the number and create local employment.
One of the aspects that ambassador Salama is promoting is an easier movement of goods and people. Efforts to set up a legal framework have been progressing. Mrs Gana Wakili, a director in the Commission hailed the policies of the Nigerian federal government geared towards attracting foreign investment which is between 50 and 70% return of investment, 5 year tax holiday, 100% profit repatriation among other incentives.
Ambasador Salama believes that vast resources and the aspirations of the two countries to promote economic prosperity, youth empowerment, viable education systems, better services and equal development and opportunities are important in their trade.