The United Kingdom, through the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment, has indicated interest in strengthening trade relations with Nigeria.
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Mr. Chuka Umunna, on Monday, led a delegation from the UK on a visit to Lagos to give small and medium-sized business the opportunity to meet clients as well as business organisations.
Umunna said UK policymakers and business community were keen on becoming a part of the remarkable story of Nigeria’s growth agenda, adding that the nation’s economic growth was expected to surpass South Africa’s as the largest economy in Africa by 2016.
He said, “About 22 years ago, when I visited Nigeria, the economy was very different, it was not in the situation that it now finds itself which is one of the largest growth improvement.
“What I see is a Nigeria which has gone leaps and bounds and has huge potential. On the Nigeria side business community and the people in government are very keen to unlock that potential but there is the need to address the ongoing governance issue which I know the presidency is determined to do. On the UK side, we have got that experience, we have started in Europe for a long time and we can help Nigeria do that, so I really think it’s a win-win situation for the UK and Nigeria if we forge a much stronger trade relation.”
According to Umunna, a total of 22 companies will be participating in the trade mission from a range of sector including energy, health, ICT, transport and consumer services.
He said emphasis was on the need to increase UK’s exports to the BRIC economies but there was also the need to boost trade with the next emerging economies which included a number of countries