The UK and Nigeria held trade and investment talks on Tuesday at the Economic and Development Forum in London to increase trade and strengthen a £3 billion cooperation.
Both countries pledged increased support for Nigeria’s small and medium enterprises at the event, including the UK Manufacturing Africa program, which has assisted 12 Nigerian firms in attracting international investment.
LocalGlobe, a venture capital firm, is hosting a tech matchmaking event for technology businesses from both countries, in collaboration with TheCityUK, TechNation, and Innovate UK.
According to a statement from the British High Commission, the deals are estimated to bring in over $300 million in foreign direct investment and directly create 5,000 employment in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Nigeria and the United Kingdom have stated their desire to break barriers in their bilateral commercial relationships.
The two countries agreed to form an official working group to improve their trade relationship for mutual gain.
They also intend to concentrate on how Nigeria’s current commercial connections could be improved, given the country’s current level of development.
These were elements of the communique published at the end of the 7th Ministerial meeting of the UK-Nigeria Economic Development Forum, which took place in London on Tuesday, according to Ifedayo Sayo, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment’s Special Assistant on Media.
The statement said the Nigerian delegation was led by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo.
Part of the delegation included the Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mr Clem Agba, and Nigeria’s Chief Trade Negotiator, Dr Yonov Agah.
The UK delegation was led by the Minister for International Trade, Penny Mordaunt, and accompanied by the United Kingdom’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria.
According to the statement, the goal of the ministerial meeting is to deliberate on specific economic challenges faced by both countries and how to remove critical market access barriers to trade relations.
The meeting, it added, also provided an opportunity for trade ministers of both countries to be updated on the outcome of a lower-level business dialogue between UK business operators in Nigeria and the Federal Government.
It also helped to share relevant updates on the implementation of commitments by both countries to address challenges faced by UK investors in Nigeria.
Speaking at the forum, Adebayo, said, “The Nigerian government is committed to implementing reforms that can attract more foreign direct investment into key industries, boost trade and development and create employment opportunities for Nigeria’s youth by leveraging on technology.
“We welcome the commitment to enhancing the relationship between our two countries today and underscore the significance of deepening our bilateral trade policy relationship in a mutually beneficial manner.”