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Nigeria recorded a favourable trade balance of $2.6 billion in its bilateral trade relationship with Indonesia in 2021.This was disclosed yesterday by the President of Nigerian Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI), Mr. Ishmael Balogun, during a press conference to announce the Nigerian Indonesian Investment and Trade Forum 2022, which would be holding in Jakarta, Indonesia between October 17, and October 27, 2022.

Balogun said that deliberate effort is needed to increase the trade balance to $4 billion in favour of Nigeria in 2023 by attracting more foreign direct investments from Indonesia to Nigeria as well as showcasing the best of Nigerian products for export trade with Indonesia in particular and the rest of the world in general.He said: “Our (Nigeria) trade balance with Indonesia in 2021 was exactly $2.6 billion. It is my opinion that we can actually do better than that. And that is why we need to take deliberate actions. For that reason, we said that we going to do Nigeria Indonesia Trade Mission in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“We want the trade balance to reach $4 billion by 2023. And in order to do that we are sensitising Nigerian business elites and informing them that Indonesia is a place where there are opportunities in agriculture, horticulture, pharmaceutical, beauty and lifestyle, aviation, defence, digital economy and green energy. If they are doing it right, then there is a lot we can learn from them.

“The main reason we are going on the trade mission is because we want to attract foreign direct investments into Nigeria. That is also the reason we are partnering with Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).“We are very clear on what we want to achieve as we want to tell Indonesian companies that we have verified entities in Nigeria that they can do businesses with and be rest assured that everything will turn out okay.

“On the other hand we are partnering with NEPC because we also want to showcase to the world that beyond oil, Nigeria has potentials in the non-oil export. So, we want to showcase the best of Nigeria to Indonesia and the rest of the world.”

“So, I invite the Nigerian business community to come with the NICCI on this business exposition trip to Jakarta, Indonesia. Our plan is to take at least 150 Nigerian business men and women on this trip, attract investments into Nigeria and at the same time showcase the best of what Nigeria can offer apart from crude oil.”

Speaking during the press conference, the Nigerian Ambassador to Indonesia, Ambassador Usman Ogeh, said that both countries have similarities in terms of natural resources, but emphasised the need for both countries to deepen its trade relationship as a means to develop their natural resources.Ogeh urged participants that would be attending the forum to take advantage of the summit to transform their businesses while also promoting the good image of credible Nigerian businesses.

The Director, Indonesia Trade Promotion Council, (ITPC), Mr. Hendro Jonathan, said Indonesia has maintained four per cent growth in its GDP in the past five years despite the pandemic, adding that the Indonesian economy is resilient and is ready to do business with Nigeria. Jonathan commended the Nigerian government for promoting non-oil export, saying that the total export of Nigeria to Indonesia is almost 10 times bigger than Indonesia’s export to Nigeria.

He said: “It is mainly crude oil products, but the non-oil export has grown more than 46 per cent since the January 2022 to date.” He urged interested participants to register for the expo online, adding that the expo is the first international expo the country is hosting since the pandemic outbreak.

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