Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco are set to improve bilateral trade relations to boost intra-Africa trade volume.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), said on Thursday that public and private sectors of both countries would collaborate to leverage on opportunities for sustainable economic growth.
He said this in Lagos during a Nigeria – Morocco Business Meeting on the theme: “Business Climate and Investment Opportunities.”
According to Jaiyeola, improved business relations between both countries will create mutual benefits, connect the continent’s markets and enhance competitiveness.
Mr Muda Yusuf, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said that improved trade relations would boost regional integration between both countries.
He noted that the strategic partnership between both countries would unlock several trade and investment opportunities in the West African region.
Ms. Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), said that, in spite of the present economic challenges, Nigeria remained the most profitable economy in Africa.
She said that business-friendly policies, increasing urbanisation, large young workforce, growing consumer spending, and vibrant private sector were creating investment opportunities in the country.
According to her, investment opportunities abound in the manufacturing, infrastructure, agriculture, solid minerals, information and communication technology, tourism and hospitality and oil & gas sectors.
She said that the government was working assiduously to create enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Mrs Miriem Bensalah-Chaqroun, Chairman, Confederation Generale des Entreprises du Maroc (CGEM), said that Morocco was interested in partnering with Nigeria to establish a strong foothold in West Africa.
According to her, both countries have interest in agriculture.
She noted that agriculture accounted for about 14 per cent of Morocco’s GDP and employed about 40 per cent of its working population.
She said that the country’s tourism sector was well developed, ranked as first tourist destination in Africa, second job creator and foreign exchange earner.
According to her, the synergy will position Nigeria to benefit from Morocco’s renewable energy and industrial acceleration plan for socio-economic development.
“The bilateral trade between Nigeria and Morocco is too low; we need to enhance the trade relations between both countries.
“We have strong will to partner with Nigeria as a strong economy in Africa despite its economic recession ; it has the market and a large youth population,” she said.
She advised that as Africans, we should trust each other, try to create proper mechanism to deepen intra Africa trade and remove structural barriers to trade and Investment.