Taiwan eyes local content as trade with Nigeria soars by 200%
Taiwan is considering boosting its presence in Nigeria by exploring local solutions as the country’s trade with Nigeria soars by 200 per cent to $1 billion.
Taiwan’s Ambassador to Nigeria and Representative, Taipei Trade Office, Andy Yih-Ping Liu, said Taiwanese investors are looking to expand their footprint in Nigeria with local plants instead of focusing only on exporting to Nigeria.
The East Asian country, according to Liu, could make Nigeria a hub for steel pipe where it would reach other African markets.
Liu said: “In the past one and half months, we already had two major delegations from Taiwan to explore investment opportunities. One of them is a top Taiwanese steel pipe company, they want to see if they can set up a factory to manufacture steel pipe for customers in Africa and Europe.
“The second delegation came only two weeks ago, they went to Lagos for a one-on-one trade tour with quite a lot of Nigerian companies who would like to do business. So, currently, we would do a short-term trade promotion and at the same time do the long-term investment promotion.”
The ambassador said there was a need for the Nigerian government to renew the trade agreement it had with the country to create a safer investment climate for Taiwanese companies in Nigeria and Nigerian companies operating in Taiwan.
“Currently we would like to do the short-term trade promoting and at the same time doing the long-term investment promotion, but the most important thing is that the Nigerian government needs to renew the investment protection agreement with us so that both sides can have a secure investment climate for both Nigeria investing in Taiwan and Taiwan in investing in Nigeria,” he said at the sideline of the Abuja International Trade Fair.
Liu disclosed that the trade between the country and Nigeria has been growing exponentially as the 2021 figure showed a 200 per cent recovery after the Covid-19 outbreak, showing a positive outlook.
Sesame, groundnut and petroleum products are being shipped to Taiwan from Nigeria as the country exports automobile parts, hand tools and machinery for agriculture, among others.
He noted that the Taiwan government may renew the $5 million loan facility being provided by the Nigerian export-import bank with the Taiwan export-import bank, adding that the loan has l yielded significant results.
Representative of Maxxis, a Taiwan tyre company operating in Nigeria, Mai Liu noted the current foreign exchange challenges in the country have impacted the organisation.
She noted that the devaluation of the naira and the prevailing economic situation is affecting the purchasing power of consumers.
She urged the Federal Government to improve the business environment, particularly for foreign investors.
Liu said: “We need a lot of help from the government, especially electricity. We need a more stable economy to boost purchasing power, we need investment infrastructure to open up to more foreign investment.”