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The European Union (EU) and Nigeria have developed robust economic relations with very large trade volumes at €30 billion in 2015. This was disclosed by Juan Casla, head, Economic Cooperation and Energy Section of EU Delegation to Nigeria.
Casla said the EU is also the top destination for oil and non-oil exports from Nigeria. Nigeria is also a key beneficiary of EU Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) with FDI stock of €30 billion in 2015.
Besides, EU Investment stock in Nigeria grew from €23.8 billion in 2013 to €25.3 billion in 2014.
But, with the fall in oil prices, EU-Nigeria trade declined by 26.7% to €30bn in 2015, with the EU offering to support Nigerian entities supports to engage in research and innovation, particularly in agricultural sector.
Declaring the EUNBF2016 open the two-day 5th EU-Nigeria Business Forum held in Lagos, Nigeria, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, executive governor of Lagos State, said that since the conclusion of the fourth edition in 2015, the nation’s economy has experienced significant development, the most critical of which is the slide into recession.
Governor Ambode who was presented by Mr. Tunji Bello, secretary to the State Government (SSG), said this year’s edition of the Forum was coming at the auspicious moment and provides a unique opportunity for participants for participants to offer suggestions that will help in turning around the fortunes of the nation’s economy.
He however pledged the State Government’s commitment to providing critical infrastructures that will make doing business in Lagos State a pleasurable and profitable experience for investors.
Ambassador Michel Arrion, head, EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS disclosed that the inclusion of Nigerian entities to partake in the 80 billion Euros research and innovation, particularly on agriculture, was informed by the country’s most obvious comparative advantage for the diversifying her economy.
The Forum is organised by the EU Delegation in close liaison with the 20 EU Member States represented in Nigeria, to allow business leaders and policy makers to discuss ways to improve the business environment and to attract European investments in Nigeria.
Arrion described the Horizon 2020 programme as the biggest EU research and innovation programme with 80 billion Euros and offers Nigerian entities (including SMEs) seeking support to engage in research and innovation, in particular again in agricultural sector.
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