By Obinna Chima
Trade Counselor and Head of Trade and Economic section of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria & ECOWAS, Filippo Amato, has put the total value of trade between Nigeria and the EU in 2016 at €19.9 billion in 2016.
Amato disclosed this while briefing journalists ahead of the 6th edition of the EU-Nigeria Business Forum titled: ‘Youth as an Engine of Broad-based Economic Transformation,’ scheduled to hold in Lagos between October 5th and 6th.
According to him, in spite of the effect of the significant recession on Nigeria’s trade, the bilateral trade between the two nations remained strong.
He said the success of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) launched by the federal government this year, depends on active private sector participation and requires effective confidence building to attract investors.
“On the other hand, creating jobs that will stimulate the economy and provide sustainable employment, particularly for young people, is crucial for both the present and the future of Nigeria,” he added.
According to him, the forthcoming forum would focus on youth in ICT and agri-business, which are key sectors to support growth and diversification of the Nigerian economy.
He further pointed out that the forum aims among other things, to identify the key role of youths in digital economy and the potential of ICT in cross-cutting themes with experiences shared from the EU; strengthen EU and Nigeria’s business relations through identification of opportunities in the agri-business space in creating jobs, boosting exports and addressing local food security problems; and identify the opportunities in addressing local infrastructure challenges and in establishing an EU-Nigeria dialogue.
The EU-Nigeria Business forum is a collaborative effort of the European Union and its member states present in Nigeria and has been held every year since 2012. It serves as a platform for investors and business people to gather essential market information and build strategic partnerships to boost domestic investments and access to the EU market.