BY ONOME AMUGE
The trade volume between Nigeria and the European Union (EU) rose above 25 percent year-on-year to reach €28.7 billion in 2021 with the EU’s import from Nigeria at €17.5 billion, while its exports were valued at €11.2 billion, reflecting a trade balance of €6.4 in favour of Nigeria.
Samuela Isopi, head of the EU delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), made the disclosure at the recent 2022 Europe Day celebration with the theme, “Peace, Cooperation and Unity”, held at the EU Residence in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.
Isopi, who described the EU bloc as Nigeria’s biggest trading partner, top donor of humanitarian and development aid, said the European bloc accounts for 20.9 percent of Nigeria’s trade with the world.
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She added that the EU accounts for 25.4 percent of Nigeria’s exports to the global market, and is Nigeria’s second largest import destination, accounting for 16.1 percent of the country’s total imports.
The envoy further noted that the bloc is Nigeria’s first partner in foreign direct investment, with EU companies, together with their Nigerian business partner, contributing to the country’s economic growth, job creation and wealth generation.
Pledging the EU’s commitment to help create the necessary conditions for the private sector to operate and contribute to Nigeria’s economic development, she said the bloc is committed towards restoring peace to the north-east region of the country by fostering peace building and intensifying the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, through its multinational joint task force.
Isopi said the bloc would continue to work with the EU member states, the European Investment Bank and other EU development financial institutions, as Team Europe to implement their joint vision.
The envoy also hinted that one of the plans to further improve trade and bilateral relationship with Nigeria is the EU-Nigeria Business Forum organised in partnership with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, scheduled to take place in Lagos between June 30 and July 1, 2022, under the theme, ‘’Nigeria and the new world economy’’.
She explained that the forum will address the challenges and opportunities relating to doing business in Nigeria and also an assessment of the EU’s involvement in Nigeria’s agricultural sector.