Chamber pledges to promote Nigeria, Argentina trade ties
THE Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ABUCCI) has pledged to sustain its collaborative efforts with Argentine government to further improve the trade relations between Nigeria and the South American country, which once rose to $300 million.
The pledge was given on behalf of the chamber by its vice-president, Major General India Garba (rtd), when he received the Secretary of the Embassy of Argentina, who doubles as the new Head, Commercial Section of the Embassy, Mariano Trisano in Abuja.
Garba indicated that many business activities have been initiated in the recent past to bolster the trade volume between the two countries, which he said would be further improved on.
Consequently, he urged the government and private investors from Argentina to invest in the agro-allied industry in Nigeria. Specifically, he stressed the need for collaborative efforts by business partners from both countries in setting up processing plants in the country, for agricultural products.
He expressed the readiness of the chamber to work closely with the embassy to facilitate more trade facilitations for improved bilateral trade ties between the economies.
He noted that ABUCCI, with over 2,000 members, is the second most visible chamber in the country, after the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He told the envoy that the chamber has a plethora of businessmen and women who are willing to do business with Argentina if necessary information about businesses in that country could be provided, adding that about 200 businessmen in the chamber visited China on a trade mission last year
“Even though it is quite a distance away, the chamber is provided with information on the business activities in China.
Since business cannot be separated from government, and the business of lawmaking and execution at the federal level is conducted in this city (Abuja), ABUCCI is better placed than other chambers in the country because of its unique federal outlook”, he said.
While inviting Argentina’s Embassy to participate in the chamber’s trade fair holding from September 18 to October 2 in Abuja, Garba said despite the set backs caused by the insecurity and Ebola virus disease during the last trade fair, about 325 participants, of which 124 were foreign based, exhibited their products.
He however assured that the challenges have been tackled by the government, especially EVD that has become a thing of the past and Boko Haram insurgency that has reduced drastically due the recent renewed efforts of the military.
Director-General of the chamber, Joe Wenegieme, while stressing the need for Argentina to invest in Nigeria, said businessmen are now focusing to agro-related businesses because of the renewed government’s drive towards diversifying the nation’s economy.
Trisano stated that his mission to the chamber was to meet with as many businessmen as possible. He listed areas of Argentine investments as food, ICT and construction, explaining that operators of the country’s food industry have strong focus on wine distillery and fish export.
According to him, Argentine businessmen are presently doing business with 230 countries across the world despite greater inclination towards China, Europe and the United States.
He added that the embassy is working frantically to reverse the trend and disclosed that many of the country’s investors are willing to come to do business in Nigeria.
He noted that although Argentina has been doing business with Nigeria for some time now adding three years ago, trade between both countries stood at about $300 million, but has plummeted in the succeeding years.