Improving trade ties sought between Pakistan, Nigeria

Karachi: “Immense opportunities of commercial and economic cooperation are there between Pakistan and Nigeria. A strategy should be evolved by the two countries to help strengthen the trade relations. Pakistan is in a position to offer consultancy services to Nigeria for the establishment of sugar, cement, fertilizer, and petroleum refining plants and engineering goods industry.”

This was stated by Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s President Muhammad Haroon Agar in a meeting with High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Dauda Danladi during his visit to KCCI.

Exchanging views with the Nigerian High Commissioner who was accompanied by Nigerian Deputy High Commissioner and Attachés, Haroon Agar apprised that bilateral relations of Pakistan with Nigeria were friendly, affable and strong based on economic and defence cooperation; trade and investment. The trade volume between the two countries was not much impressive and there is further room to enhance it to the significant levels. The bilateral trade between Pakistan and Nigeria is not significant. In FY12, Pakistan imported commodities of worth $ 3.28Mn while exports to Nigeria amounted to $ 36.7Mn.

Haroon Agar articulated that Africa is rich in mineral and natural resources and Nigeria is gateway for African Market. Pakistan and Nigeria both can benefit by strengthening economic and trade ties. Great opportunities exist in the area of agricultural machinery like tractors, Pharmaceuticals and export of garments including electro medical apparatus to Nigeria from Pakistan. Pakistan can invest in Nigeria in IT & Telecommunication, Education sector. Nigeria has the highest population growth in the world and Pakistan can meet its Textile, Food, Sports Goods, Surgical Goods, and other needs. Pakistan Nigeria Business Forum needs to be formed. Frequent exchange of Trade and business delegations, internet link between KCCI and its counterpart in Nigeria.

He hoped the Nigeria Pakistan Joint Commission recently formed will achieve its aim to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment relations Pakistan’s top Exports to Nigeria are pharmaceutical products, cotton, manmade staple fibres, cereals, machinery, plastics, footwear, vehicles other than railway, electrical equipment etc. However important items that Pakistan Imports from Nigeria include cotton, raw hides and skins, dairy products, vegetable, rubber and articles thereof, edible fruits etc.

High Commissioner Dauda Danladi stated that the aim of visit to Karachi Chamber was to interact with the vibrant business and industrial community of Karachi and to make a presentation on Nigeria Investment Potential in the areas of Oil & Gas, Agriculture and Solid Minerals. He stated that the Nigerian President in the recent D8 Summit in Islamabad attached great importance to boost economic interaction with Pakistan and desired to enhance two way trades to $ 1Bn with Pakistan by the end of 2013.

High Commissioner in his presentation highlighted the Nigeria is amongst the Africa’s ten largest economies that contribute 77 percent of its GDP. Nigeria having large population of 165 million people is a big market for Pakistani textile products. He informed that the present reserves of Nigerian Oil were 36 Billion barrels and Natural Gas reserves were 184 Trillion Cubic Feet, daily production of Nigeria’s crude oil was 2.5 Million barrel per day. Hence, Pakistani investors can get the benefit of profitable investment in the oil and gas sectors and allied industries, he said. Nigerian Government had created four free zones territories viz. Onne, Warri, Lagos and Calabar where incentives offered 100 percent on import and export exemptions, exemption of commercial levies, repatriation of Capital and profits and company ownership. Lease was available from 5~21 years and there were no corporate and withholding taxes, he added.

He informed that the Nigerian Agriculture sector was also open to private sector for large scale commercial farming, land and fresh water was available in abundance. Opportunities were available in crops, dairy, livestock, fisheries, rice, cassava and bio fuel. Nigeria also needed agricultural machinery like tractors.

He also highlighted cooperation in the areas of textiles, pharmaceuticals industries and solid minerals like coal, bitumen, iron ore, limestone, zinc etc. and the Government was offering conducive investment climate. He also invited to compose a delegation of KCCI and become the part of High Profile Business and Investors Delegation he had planned to take to Nigeria in August 2013.