ISLAMABAD, JUL 28 /DNA/ – Bello Abiuye, High Commissioner of Nigeria to Pakistan said that his country was keen to promote trade and economic relations with Pakistan as both countries have great potential to promote bilateral trade in many areas for achieving mutually beneficial outcomes. He highlighted agriculture equipment, information technology, pharmaceuticals, tourism, textiles as potential areas of cooperation between Nigeria and Pakistan. He said this while interacting with the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

The High Commissioner said that Nigeria was allowing business e-visa on arrival to Pakistani citizens and emphasized that Pakistan should also streamline its visa policy for Nigerian businessmen that would help in improving bilateral trade relations. He said that Pakistan and Nigeria should focus on direct flights and establish strong air links to boost trade and exports. He said that setting up banking channels between Pakistan and Nigeria was a key requirement to facilitate business transactions between the two countries. He said that Indian firms have made significant presence in Nigeria and emphasized that Pakistan should also work on strategies to get better penetration in Nigerian market.

Speaking at the occasion, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Pak-Nigeria bilateral trade in 2020 was around USD 146 million, which was negligible given the huge market size of both countries. He said that Pakistan could export many products to Nigeria including pharmaceuticals, textiles, rice, sports goods, IT products & services, surgical instruments, leather products, electronic gadgets & equipment, fruits & vegetables at competitive prices and urged that Nigeria should focus on increasing imports from Pakistan. He said that entrepreneurs of Pakistan and Nigeria should explore setting up joint ventures and business partnerships in areas of interest to promote business relations.

ICCI President said that Pakistan’s electric motorbikes, tractors, batteries, agriculture equipment & machinery, marble & stones, gems & jewellery could also find a good market in Nigeria. He said that both countries could promote cooperation in many other areas including exploration of oil & gas, mines & minerals. He stressed that Pakistan and Nigeria should facilitate the business community in holding trade fairs and exhibitions on reciprocal basis to exploit all untapped areas of trade promotion. He assured that ICCI would cooperate in connecting Nigerian businessmen with right partners in Pakistan.

Fatma Azim Senior Vice President ICCI, Muhammad Aslam Khokhar, Shaukat Hayat Khan and Muhammad Saeed said that dissemination of trade related information held key importance in strengthening mutual trade relations. They said that Nigeria and Pakistan shared a lot of commonalities that should be used to promote business relations. They said that the unique geographical locations of both countries provided them a good opportunity to strengthen trade and economic relations.=DNA