Lahore, January 28, 2013 (PPI-OT): Nigeria-Pakistan Joint Commission would start working soon to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment relations as all arrangements have been finalized to ink an agreement to this regard by the end of next month.
This was stated by the Nigerian High Commissioner to Pakistan Dauda Danladi while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday. The LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar, Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad, former Senior Vice President Tahir Javed Malik and Convener LCCI Standing Committee on Pak-Africa Business Promotion Zafar Mahmood also spoke on the occasion.
The High Commissioner said that the establishment of Joint Commission is a proof that the two sides are well on way to reap the economic potential in Pakistan and Nigeria. He said that this single step would help raise the volume of two-way trade to $1 billion by the end of next year.
The High Commissioner said that Nigeria offers great investment opportunities to Pakistan in a number of areas including Oil and Gas, Minerals and Mining, Agriculture and Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries. He said that investments made in Nigeria are not only fully guaranteed by the government but would also be earning rich dividends for the investors.
He said that 100 per cent import and export exemption and 100 per cent repatriation of capital and profits is allowed on the investment made in four free trade zones in Nigeria.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President said that Pakistan does consider the value of strengthening the trade and economic relations with Nigeria keeping in view the big market of Africa. Referring to recently concluded D8 Summit, both the sides need to make all out efforts to increase mutual cooperation for each other’s benefits.
Farooq Iftikhar said that Pakistan and Nigeria are also members of Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and have friendly and strong diplomatic relations. Other than maintaining steady trade relations, Pakistan has been greatly contributing in fulfilling the defence requirement of Nigeria.
Nigeria is one of the major member states of African Union. It is classified as an emerging market rapidly approaching to middle income status. The Nigerian Stock Exchange is the second largest in Africa Continent and poised to champion the acceleration of Africa’s economic development.
However, this relationship has not been translated into tangible economic ties because Nigeria unfortunately does not figure prominently among the trading partners of Pakistan. The downward trend in exports of Pakistan to Nigeria and overall downfall in bilateral trade is a matter of concern. We need to find reasons of this trend and also take measures to turn around the situation.
Major export items from Pakistan to Nigeria are medicament mixtures, cotton fabrics, woven fabric of synthetic fibre, tractors, garments, and electro-medical apparatus etc. Items of imports from Nigeria to Pakistan comprise cotton, raw hides and skins, pharmaceutical products and articles of rubber etc.
Pakistan is capable of facilitating Nigerian market with better quality products at competitive rates. Pakistan can export rice, electrical appliances, auto-parts etc. even at much competitive rates. There is a dire need to identify more tradable products to enhance mutual trade. Likewise, sharing of expertise in oil and gas sector can also be initiated on priority.
Pakistan is known around the globe for its textile products, sports goods, surgical instruments, rice, carpets, footwear and so many other consumable items, which still need to be properly introduced in African markets.
Market research should be conducted regarding the range of products and priority may be given to each other for import of products. Frequent exchange of trade delegations, continuous liaison and exchange of information can prove important instruments to strengthen our trade and investment relations.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854