Nigeria, Belgium, Luxembourg business forum kicks off June 7
All is now set for the Nigeria-Belgium-Luxembourg Business Forum, scheduled to hold in Luxembourg and Brussels from June 7 to 9, 2023.
The business forum is an initiative of the Embassy of Nigeria in Belgium, in conjunction with the Belgium Luxembourg Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, BLNCC, Afrinex, and A-Law.
According to a statement issued by the Nigerian ambassador to Belgium, Mr Obinna Chiedu Onowu, and made available to DAILY POST in Abuja, the event, which will bring together key industry players and government officials, will focus on agribusiness, renewable energy, health, construction and infrastructure, financial services, and other sectors of the economy.
Presentations on investment opportunities in Nigeria, he also disclosed, will be made by Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and other government agencies.
The envoy confirmed that more than 130 participants from the three countries had registered to participate in the event as of Friday. He noted that this will be the first major investment drive in the tenure of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
He noted that the business forum is coming at the right time with the Federal Government’s removal of fuel subsidies and, hence, the full deregulation of the oil downstream sector.
According to him, the event would lead to an improvement in the level of interaction among businesses in the three countries in the non-oil sector, increase bilateral trade relations, and promote investment opportunities among them.
His words: “The Business Forum will provide a good avenue for matchmaking, which is currently a major challenge. It will deepen ties, especially in key sectors such as education, transportation, agriculture, healthcare, renewable energy, information technology, trade, entertainment, and services.
“It will not only lead to an improvement in the subsisting commercial relations among Nigeria, Belgium, and Luxembourg; the Forum will also attract direct foreign investment to Nigeria, both in the oil and non-oil sectors of the economy.”
Onowu disclosed that the foreign trade report for the fourth quarter of 2022 by the National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria indicates that the Kingdom of Belgium ranks among the major countries of origin of imports to Nigeria, adding that “the kingdom has been consistent within this ranking for almost two years.”
He further said: “Records with the Belgian Foreign Trade Agency indicate that for the first month of 2023, Nigeria ranked the 16th client in trade volume (export into Nigeria) amongst Belgian trade partners, which amounted to 511.8 million Euros, and the 60th supplier in trade volume (import into Belgium) in the sum of 43.5 million Euros.
“Trade balance between both countries stands at 468.3 million euros in favour of Belgium. As it is, Belgium is a strategic and an important trade partner for Nigeria. Trade is majorly in the oil sector, that is, for Nigeria, while mineral products, chemicals, machinery, and equipment are the major items received from Belgium.”
On Luxembourg, the ambassador noted that the country has a reputation for being a solid financial hub, which makes it a strategic trade partner for Nigeria.