Sunday November 27, 2022

‘No progress’ on Pakistan-Nigeria joint chamber since 2015: envoy

By Our Correspondent
November 09, 2021

KARACHI: Plans for a joint chamber of commerce and industry between Nigeria and Pakistan to enhance business ties have stalled as no progress has been made despite signing of an agreement some 15 years back, an envoy said on Monday.

“Setting up a joint chamber was very necessary to improve trade and investment cooperation between the two countries otherwise we will not be able to do much,” Mohammed Bello Abioye, high commissioner of Nigeria told a group of businessmen at Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).

Abioye said a lack of direct flights was another reason for limited trade between the two countries. “If direct flights are commenced, it would surely certainly facilitate trade and investment between the business communities of the two countries,” he said, adding that Nigeria, which holds a very large population, was a peaceful and stable country where Pakistani businessmen and industrialists could either establish their business units or undertake joint ventures. “We can become partners in progress through further strengthening trade ties.”

He said many commodities particularly cotton and coco being largely produced in Nigeria can be provided to Pakistan. The Nigerian cotton can be used by Pakistan’s textile sector for producing their value-added products.

Earlier, president KCCI Muhammad Idrees, pointed out that Pakistan imported commodities worth $116.27 million in 2020, which was 58.4 percent lower than $279.74 million in 2019 while the exports to Nigeria stood at $29.97 million in 2020 which was 9.1 percent higher than $27.47 million in 2019.

Idrees stressed that Pakistan and Nigeria should develop strong trade and economic ties through exchange of trade delegations, continuous liaison with businesses and SMEs that would help in up scaling the two-way trade.

“The trade volume between the two countries can be ramped up by launching direct flights between Pakistan and Nigeria while proper direct banking channel must also be established.: President KCCI was of the opinion that Nigeria offers a huge market for Pakistani pharmaceutical and cereal exporters while Pakistan was 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 the African markets.

Export of textiles including electro-medical apparatus to Nigeria from Pakistan can enhance two-way trade, he added. He also assured to discuss the pending issue of Pakistan-Nigeria joint chamber of commerce with relevant authorities at the ministry of Commerce and advised to establish this joint chamber in collaboration with Karachi Chamber which has already established a similar joint chamber with Afghanistan. Idrees also requested the high commissioner to look into the possibility of opening up Nigerian Consulate in Karachi.