By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
Abuja-Nigeria is set to play host to major world economies and over 30 African country representatives at the high Level Policy and Private Sector Trade and Investment Facilitation Partnership Forum taking place on the 2ndand 3rd of November in Abuja.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah who made the disclosure in a media briefing on Tuesday in Abuja,said that the event is a significant step in the drive towards facilitating trade and investment not only for Nigeria, but sub-regionally and on the African Continent.
he noted that Nigerian and African economies need to be connected, integrated and diversified, adding that facilitating investment and trade will be key to achieving these objectives.
According to Enelamah, “United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) forecasts that developing countries will need an additional $2.5 trillion annually in foreign and domestic investment to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The World Bank estimates that Africa’s total infrastructure investment requirements at roughly $120-150 billion per annum and estimates the gap between infrastructure investment requirements and available financial resources at about $60-80 billion per annum
“The case for trade and investment facilitation can therefore, not be overemphasized. I reiterate that this government is committed to investment facilitation, by creating a more investment friendly business climate and making it easier for both domestic and foreign investors to invest” he said.
The event is co-hosted by Nigeria and the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) in partnership with the WTO Friends of Investment Facilitation for Development (FIFD).
Members of FIFD coalition are Nigeria, Argentina, China, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Canada, the European Union, Qatar
The Vice-president Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is expected to open the event and other dignitaries such as the WTO DG Roberto Azevedo; Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Mukhisa Kituyi, African Union (AU) Commissioner for Trade and Industry Albert Muchanga, CEO of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Borge Brende, CEO of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President of ECOWAS Commission Marcel Alain de Souza will be in attendance.
Also, there will be Ministers and Senior Trade and Investment officials from over 30 African countries. CEOs and Presidents of Nigerian and Foreign companies – some include Procter and Gamble, Huawei, General Electric, Vodacom etc.