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Nigeria, Greece sign pact to boost economic ties


President, Greek-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce, Ninos Yiamakis (right); Director, Trade and Economic Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Nigeria), Olufolake Abdulrazaq; Deputy Minister, Foreign Affairs (Greece), Terence Quick; Executive Vice Chairman, AG Leventis, Michael Economakis; Director of Commerce, Lagos State, Hakeem Adeniji; and Greek Ambassador to Nigeria, Maria Saranti at the Greek-Nigerian business forum held in Lagos…yesterday PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

Nigeria and Greece have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost the volume of trade between both countries and find new grounds for economic cooperation.

The President, Greek-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce, Ninos Yiamakis, expressed optimism that the chamber’s trade mission would help to improve bilateral ties, including creating industrial relationship.

At the chamber’s business forum held in Lagos yesterday, Yiamakis said: “We are targeting agriculture, construction, energy and technology. The balance of trade is negative to Greece. We signed an agreement with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to support the existing organisations within the two countries to promote their targets, including the development of industrial and commercial ties of both countries.”

He noted that since the formation of the chamber 20 years ago, it has focused on the promotion and enhancement of trade, industrial, and technological collaboration between Nigeria and Greece.

“Our chamber is a strong believer in the opportunities available in the industrial and commercial world in Nigeria. Our private sector has showed its belief in the Nigerian market by its impressive presence at the forum. What we need is for the two countries to further enhance the existing legislation that accelerates cooperation. We also want to simplify the visa process for genuine Nigerian entrepreneurs that want to visit Greece and do businesses with their Greek counterparts,” Yiamakis said.

The Deputy Minister, Foreign Affairs of Greece, Terence Quick, who spoke on bilateral ties and economic relations, said the Nigerian and Greek companies’ partnership on transport and logistics would be of great benefits to both nations.

“We have identified other sectors with prospects of bilateral cooperation such as energy, renewable sources, technology, mining, food and beverage, because we consider Nigeria to be a very strong partner for Greece.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who was represented by the Director, Trade and Economic Department in the ministry, Olufolake Abdulrazaq, noted that despite some challenges, trade between both countries had grown fast in recent times. She said the Nigerian economy had maintained consistent growth in priority areas, including agriculture.

According to Abdulrazaq, the MoU will facilitate promotion, expansion and development of trade between Nigerian and Greek companies. She urged the Greek firms to key into Nigerian Economic and Diplomatic Initiative (NEDI) to increase investment in the country.

The Head of Mission of Nigeria to the Hellenic Republic, Folorunsho Ajadi, described the Greek trade mission as a laudable attempt at forging business partnership between the Organised Private Sector (OPS) of both countries.

According to him, the investment climate and business environment in Nigeria have become very conducive for foreign direct investments after the country has implemented different reforms.

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