Nigeria-Belgium-Luxembourg Business Forum kicks off Wednesday
All is set for the Nigeria–Belgium–Luxembourg Business Forum holding 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 Nigerian Ambassador to Belgium, Mr. Obinna Chiedu Onowu, the event which will bring together key industry players and government officials, will focus on agric-business, renewable energy, health, construction/ 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 said as at Friday, more than 130 participants from the three countries have registered to participate at the event which will be the first major investment drive in the life of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
He noted that the Business Forum is coming at the right time with the full deregulation of oil downstream sector by the Federal Government, particularly removal of fuel subsidy.
The Ambassador added that the event would lead to 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 match making which is currently a major challenge. It will deepen ties especially in the key sectors, such as education,, transportation, agriculture, healthcare, renewable energy, information technology, trade, entertainment and services.
“It will not only lead to an improvement on 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 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 “the kingdom has been consistent within this ranking for almost two years.”
He further said: “Records with the Belgian Foreign Trade Agency indicates 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 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 the favour of Belgium. As it is Belgium is strategic and an important trade partner for Nigeria. Trade is majorly in the oil sector that is for Nigeria while mineral products, Chemical, machinery and equipment are the major items received from Belgium.”
On Luxembourg, the ambassador noted that the country has a reputation of being a solid financial hub which makes it strategic trade partner to Nigeria.