The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adebayo has described Canada as a strategic trade partner with Nigeria as import and export value between both countries hit $377 million.
Adebayo also said that that the federal government will sustain trade and investment relationship with Canada in the area of import and export of goods
The Minister stated this at the 2nd Nigeria-Canada Investment Summit in Abuja, according to a statement by Julius Toba-Jegede, his Special Assistant on Media.
Adebayo expressed confidence that the summit like others would help Nigeria secure bilateral agreements with nations that have demonstrable capacities.
“Canada is strategic to trading and investment activities in Africa, with about $3.5 billion worth of trade in each direction.
“Nigeria has been one of Canada’s top three trading partners in Africa, with estimated import and export receipt of $ 377 million, $360 million worth of goods respectively.
“Our geographic position, economic potential and relative share of economic output, in Africa in the African region places us in a unique position to serve as a gateway to Africa.
“Canada is a strategic trading and investment partner to Africa as evidenced by the $3.5 billion worth of trade in each direction.
“The continent’s relationship with Canada cannot be overemphasized as the two regions boast of large mineral deposits and a strategic footprint that fosters competitive access to some of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies.
“Nigeria in particular ranks among Canada’s top three trading partners in Africa with an estimated import and export receipt of $377 million, $360 million worth of goods respectively,” he explained.
On agriculture, Adebayo said that “Our trade partnership with Canada is largely comprised of agricultural and food products.
“Coincidentally, the agro-allied and agribusiness sectors are of national priority to Nigeria. The sector serves as one of the core elements of our national economic policy, which is committed to aggressively supporting and expanding local production.”
He listed the mining and solid minerals sectors as areas where Canada is well-positioned to support Nigeria in its quest to diversify the economy.
Other areas according to him are: Healthcare, Power, Education, Telecommunications/ICT and Real Estate where the two countries can assist each other.
He noted that the Federal Government had adopted a new bilateral investment policy direction in 2016 to promote investments.
He, however, informed that “Nigeria is committed to working closely with Canada to address the list of provisions considered limiting to its international investment agreements regime, which conclusively led to the development of a new BIT model of 2016.
“Our partnership with Canada is invaluable to our national interest and we are working jointly on a modern FIPPA. We look forward to the continuation of this mutually beneficial relationship between our two great regions.”