By Cynthia Ezekwe & Luther Animashaun
Access Bank Plc has launched the Access Bank French Business Desk to strengthen business relationships, and facilitate business opportunities between Nigeria and France.
Roosevelt Ogbonna, Access bank’s chief executive officer, in a recent statement said the launch followed the opening of the first subsidiary of Access Bank Plc in the European Union, in Paris, adding that the Access Bank French Desk, which was in partnership with Business France, was created as a platform to connect French and Nigerian companies, providing them with financial solutions to conduct trade and investment activities between both countries.
Ogbonna noted that through business advisory services, engagement with relevant institutions, economic roundtables, trade facilitation, and comprehensive banking solutions, the French Desk will remain the trusted partner that will empower and facilitate business opportunities for Nigerian and French businesses on their journey to success.
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“We have developed competencies to grow with institutions that have powered us to where we are today even as we continue to create intrinsic value, beneficial to the economies of all the countries where we operate,” he stated.
According to Ogbonna, the French Desk will serve as the platform to provide enhanced services and support to French businesses and individuals operating in Nigeria, as well as Nigerian businesses with significant interest in France or seeking to establish their presence in France.
He further stated that by leveraging the expertise and resources of both Access Bank and Business France, the desk aims to create dynamic and comprehensive banking solutions tailored specifically to the needs of these businesses.
Herbert Wigwe, group chief executive, Access Holdings Plc noted that Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy endowed with vast human and natural resources while France possesses technological expertise, innovation and a rich cultural heritage, adding that the Access Bank French Desk will serve as a knowledge hub, providing valuable insights, intelligence, and networking opportunities for businesses from both countries.
“We aim to create an enabling environment for French companies to thrive in Nigeria while also assisting Nigerian businesses in navigating the intricacies of the French market. Collaboration with multilateral organisations such as PROPACO and AFD will further enhance the impact of the Access Bank French Desk,” Wigwe added.
On her part, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, the French minister of state for development, francophonie and international partnerships, welcomed the signing of an agreement with Business France Nigeria to partner on the French Desk, stating that the initiative illustrates the huge dynamism and potential of the economic ties between Nigeria and France, which have been continuously strengthened since President Macron’s visit to Nigeria in 2018. She added that the desk will enable both countries to strengthen an already substantial economic partnership and benefit companies from both countries, including Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs).