Karachi, October 11, 2023 – Nigeria has expressed a strong desire to elevate its trade volume with Pakistan to $1 billion in a relatively short time frame, emphasizing the need for stronger economic ties between the two nations.
High Commissioner of Nigeria, Mohammed Bello Abioye, shared his optimism during a meeting with members of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). He highlighted the potential for increased cooperation and trade between Nigeria and Pakistan.
The High Commissioner said, “Keeping in view the enhanced cooperation between Nigeria and Pakistan, I am fairly optimistic that the two brotherly countries will be able to achieve a trade volume of US$1 billion within a very short time, which is achievable, if we fill all the gaps and come closer to each other.”
Despite positive political and diplomatic relations, concerns have been raised over the historically low trade volume between Nigeria and Pakistan. The High Commissioner attributed this issue to factors such as insufficient information about each other, foreign policy-related matters, poor connectivity, and delays in visa processing. However, he noted that discussions and measures taken to address some of these obstacles have already resulted in improvements, with the trade volume expected to rise further.
Mr. Abioye stressed the enormous potential for trade and investment cooperation between Nigeria and Pakistan, given the substantial populations of both countries. To achieve the desired outcomes, he emphasized the importance of addressing existing gaps and facilitating closer collaboration among the business communities of the two nations.
The High Commissioner proposed increased exchanges of trade delegations between Nigeria and Pakistan, exploring opportunities for joint ventures, and identifying avenues for trade and investment cooperation.
He further highlighted the efficiency of the Nigerian High Commission’s visa application processing, with the commitment to issuing visas to Pakistanis within 48 hours. He called for a similar approach from Pakistani authorities to expedite visa issuance to Nigerians.
President of KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, welcomed the Nigerian High Commissioner and commended his role in enhancing business and trade relations between the two countries. He underlined the significance of Pakistan’s Look Africa Policy in facilitating stronger economic ties with Nigeria.
President Sheikh suggested that direct flights between Pakistan and Nigeria would enhance people-to-people and business-to-business relations. He also identified potential areas for trade, such as textiles, pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments, electrical appliances, processed food, cosmetics, IT products, and financial services, along with opportunities for Nigerian investments in Pakistan’s energy, renewables, food security, tourism, and other sectors.
The President proposed reciprocal participation in trade fairs and exhibitions to further promote trade between Pakistan and Nigeria, enabling businesses to explore new avenues and strategies for market expansion.
The prospect of a $1 billion trade volume reflects the determination of both countries to strengthen their economic cooperation and tap into the substantial potential for trade and investment.