Nigeria-U.S. Forum To Boost Investment

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Stakeholders have begun effort to strengthen the Nigeria-U.S. Trade and Investments Framework Agreement (TIFA), an official said.

Toward this end, a high level private and public sector delegation from Nigeria will be going on an investment mission to the U.S. aimed at boosting investments between both countries.

The mission tagged “The First U.S.A,-Nigeria Business Forum, ‘’, is organised by the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the Organised Private Sector (OPS).

The mission will focus on 14 sectors of the Nigerian economy for investments, the Consultant to the forum, Chief Folusho Abiri told newsmen in Abuja yesterday.

The sectors featuring at the forum, which will hold from April 13 to 22 in three U.S. states – Georgia, Texas and Illinois, are tourism/hospitality, power/energy, solid mineral/mining, ICT/telecoms, aviation/transport and SME Development.

Others are Banking/Financing, infrastructure, construction, agriculture/agribusiness, health/pharmaceutical, oil/gas, maritime/port development, environment and insurance.

Abiri said the aim of the forum was to enhance business and investment relations between both countries.

He said the forum would enable big Nigerian companies to meet their U.S. counterparts and offer medium and small-scale business people opportunities to explore the possibilities of exporting to the American market.

“It will also enable them to meet international finance institutions, such as the American EXIM Bank that is ready to finance the supply of machines and equipment to these companies to enable them to produce to American specifications,’’ he said.

Abiri described as “unfortunate’’ the inability of Nigeria to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) law enacted since 2000 to enable the country to penetrate the U.S. market.

He also said the business forum would be an opportunity to address the problems confronting Nigeria from the American perspective and find lasting solutions to them.

He said the forum would provide a platform for the presentation to American leaders and senior policy makers of the wide array of investment opportunities in Nigeria.

“It will also provide a platform for the discussion of ways in which these opportunities can be realised and the balance of trade increased,’’ he said.

NAN reports that Nigeria is largest trading partner of the U.S. in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2000, the TIFA agreement was signed between both countries as part of a comprehensive U.S. effort to support Nigeria’s efforts to advance trade and economic development.

During the meeting between both countries in Washington, the two sides discussed common objectives, including cooperation in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), AGOA, market access, intellectual property rights and improving the bilateral trade climate, among others.