Dr Olusegun Aganga, the Minister of Trade and Investment
By Funke Adewale
The business relationship between Sweden and Nigeria got a boost at the weekend with the visit of a Swedish business delegation, headed by the Secretary of State for Trade, Mr. Gunnar, to Lagos and Abuja.
The delegation, which met with Nigerian stakeholders in trade, ICT solutions, energy and infrastructure was expected to further cement relationship with Nigeria as well as seize some of the many business opportunities Nigeria has to offer.
THISDAY gathered that the delegation is the first step of a three-year ICT venture in Sub-Saharan Africa – a new effort by the Swedish Trade Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to highlight the huge potentials that this region has to offer.
In his remarks, Gunnar Oom said: “Swedish companies have for a long time been active in Africa, but I am sure that what we have seen so far is just the beginning. The Swedish government is working to further develop and strengthen the economic ties between our countries. It is with great pleasure I lead the Swedish business delegation to Nigeria.
“Nigeria with its 167 million inhabitants is the most populous market in Sub-Saharan Africa while Sweden is one of the world’s most ICT mature countries with many suppliers of world class products and services. We see great business opportunities for Swedish companies that choose to establish themselves in Nigeria,” says Mats Paulson, Vice President Middle East, Central Asia & Africa at the Swedish Trade Council.
Swedish trade with Nigeria has increased significantly in recent years and the country is Sweden’s second largest trading partners in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The region has one of the world’s fastest growing ICT sector. Mobile phone penetration is higher than 50 percent and nearly 250 million people are expected to be using the Internet in 2050, mostly through their mobile phones. 28 percent of the Nigerian population currently has access to the Internet.