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Car parts industry to get international recognition at automotive exhibition

West Africa Automotive Show (WAAS), a new international trade exhibition, will shine the spotlight on Nigeria’s leading motor maintenance and repair businesses.

West Africa Automotive Show (WAAS), a new international trade exhibition, will shine the spotlight on Nigeria’s leading motor maintenance and repair businesses.

A third of the 100+ exhibitors at WAAS will be local and the overseas contingent is coming from four continents. Morocco and China will be hosting national pavilions and in addition to this, the smaller groupings from Thailand, Egypt, Tunisia and India will each feature, along with representation from over a dozen more countries.

AMDIE, the Moroccan Investment and Export Development Agency is an exhibition partner at WAAS. This automotive exhibition will run for three days – from November 6th-8th at the Landmark Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. With free admission, an impressive 3,000+ visitors, consisting of a wide range of industry professionals, are expected to attend the event.

Mr. Hedi Ben Alaya, Export Manager for Société Macoflex of Tunisia, explained: “Nigeria is a strategic platform in Africa for business opportunities and investment.

“Many automotive manufactures are choosing to have their new plant in the area. It is necessary, therefore, to create a franchise or a joint venture immediately so as to have access to the market and to take the next steps.”

“We are looking to deepen business links and investment within Nigeria and around the West African region and to build networks with reputable players in the auto spare parts market,” said Mr Ben Alaya. “If the infrastructure and potential partners are ready, we can invest in the country.” However, the rate at which this investment might occur will depend on the distribution network.

From Lithuania in northern Europe, Mr. Darius Luksevicius, Director of UAB ‘Pabaltijo automobiliu prekyba’, said: “We are looking forward to participating in the exhibition. We are very excited by the opportunity. We believe that Nigeria is the best gateway for European Investors to African markets.”

UAB Pabaltijo automobiliu prekyba specialises in import and export of salvage vehicles and used spare parts. If business works out well here, the company is willing to invest further. “If our business operation reaches a certain level of growth and scale we would consider setting up an office in Nigeria,” said Mr Luksevicius.

He notes that Nigeria has consistently been ranked as one of the top three destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa. For UAB, “the most important advantage for us is the language. We value the fact that we will be able to communicate with our customers and partners in English.

“Another vital advantage Nigeria has is its geographical location, located in the middle of Africa with its seaports. It’s very attractive for import/export business operations.”

WAAS is organised by BtoB Events, which has already had two successful show launches in Lagos over the past year, Beauty West Africa and Food and Beverage West Africa. BtoB Events’ Managing Director Jamie Hill is now looking forward to introducing automotive maintenance and repairs into the portfolio, effectively boosting Nigeria’s importance in the regional automotive sector.

“Participants will also see that the global market is investing into Nigeria and are serious about increasing business here. We have a wealth of international exhibitors looking to bring high tech equipment to Nigeria for the first time and a large number of local exhibitors looking to expand their business and increase export to surrounding countries.”