Nigeria, Bangladesh trade ties hit $14m
The Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria, Md. Shameem Ahsan has stated that the volume of trade between Nigeria and Bangladesh has hit $14 million.
The Bangladeshi Envoy stated that the trade volume which is slightly higher on the side of Nigeria is very insignificant when compared to the huge economic potential both countries could explore to forge strong bilateral trade relations.
Ahsan at a business forum to interact with the Nigerian business community, said one of the factors for the low level of trade was due to the distance between both countries, while also calling on the need to deploy the use of more trade missions to create more commercial links and mutual understanding.
In his words: “There are huge opportunities for bilateral relations, but unfortunately the trade volume is very insignificant, but we are working closely with Nigeria to see that the trade volume is increased and both countries engage themselves in mutually beneficial trade relations.
“We are participating in the Lagos International Trade fair for the first time to showcase our export potential and we have been attending almost all trade fairs in Nigeria because we are very hopeful and believe in the Nigerian economy.”
According to him, Nigeria has everything to be an investment destination for foreign direct investments but advised that its infrastructure and insecurity challenges must be addressed to achieve the feat.
He added: “It is a huge country with abundant potentials, but I think there is huge potential to increase its current energy capacity, and talking about insecurity, we know that no country is immune to insecurity issues, but Nigeria needs to address the high level of insecurity to attract more foreign direct inflow”.
Earlier, the president, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Babatunde Ruwase, said both countries have expressed mutual interest to expand bilateral trade relations overtime, but stated that the partnership had not gathered much momentum in recent years.
He said both countries are not among each other’s top five trading partners, stating that it indicates that a lot still needs to be done by both parties to solidify strategic alliances.
He said both countries are confronted with challenges of infrastructural bottlenecks, insufficient power and gas supplies, but stated that export-led policies have helped Bangladesh rank among the world’s fastest economy with some 8 per cent annual expansion rate.
“Nigeria is keen to boost economic growth which is stuck at some 2 per cent by attracting private capital into the non-oil sector,” he said.